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Activity Professional for the Elderly (HSG-APR-01)


Course Description

There are many types of facilities where Activity Professionals work. Activity Professionals can work in long-term care facilities, assisted living communities or adult day care programs. The Activity Professional provides activities for residents in these facilities and may play many diverse roles within the each community. The goal of the Activity Professional is to create a homelike environment where the residents have control of their lives. There are also administrative responsibilities and resident care duties as well as plenty of other tasks that keep the work interesting. Aging & Society introduces you to gerontology in a compassionate way that helps you understand seniors and know how to work with them. This course combines sound academics with an empathetic view of the lives of older people. Our Aging & Society Course will help students understand the complex issues of social gerontology and aging by using a life course perspective that views aging as an unfolding and dynamic process. We will combine a conceptual/theoretical and practical focus that will enable students both to understand the aging process and to make connections between social definitions of age and their own present and future lives.
After completing this course, you should be able to:
• Comprehend the role of the activity professional in adult care
• Identify methods for person-centered activity programming
• Identify the steps to assess, document, and prepare treatment plans
• Define methods for quality assurance and time management
• Identify the steps in planning and implementing a successful exercise program
• Comprehend how the social construction of age impacts social gerontology research
• Identify the characteristics of today’s population aged 65 and older
• Identify the major theories of biological aging and patterns of illnesses in later life
• Comprehend how family variations and relationships support social functioning
• Identify the current technological and medical breakthroughs for older people


Activity Professional Module 1
The Activity Professional’s Role
• Introduction to the Field of Activity Professionals
• Culture Change and Growth in Long-Term Care
• Industry Terminology
• Myths & Realities of Aging 2000
• Older Americans Act
• Imagine Yourself at 84
• Reactions to Illness
• Their Families
• Diagnosis and Chronic Disorders
• Neurological Disorders
• Psychiatric Disorders
• The Wellness Tree of Life
• Sensory Loss
• Death & Dying
• Professionalism in this Field
• Physical Environment
• Personal Environment
• Cultural Environment
• Working Environment
Activity Professional Module 2
Person-Centered Activity Programming
• Person-Centered Programs
• Physical Activity & Exercise with Older Adults
• Activity Review Forms
• OBRA Interpretive Guidelines Tips
• Challenges and Techniques of Group work
• Activity Consolation
• Activity Suggestions
• Leisure, Leisure, Leisure
• Activity Supplies
• Activity Analysis
• One-to-One Programming
• Multi-Sensory, Multi-Level theme Activities
• Programming for Severe Cognitive Impairments
• Sensory Integration & Stimulation
• Programming for Mild to Moderate Cognitive Impairments
• Validating Activities
• Remotivating / Reminiscing Activities
• Resocializing Activities
• Resocializing Activities
Activity Professional Module 3
Assessment, Documentation & Treatment Plans
• Short-Term Stays Rehab Activities
• Cognitive Stimulation & Retraining Activities
• Community Integration Activities
• Documentation Principles
• Introduction to Required Documentation
• Activity Documentation
• The Initial Assessment
• Activity Assessment
• Standardized Scales & Assessment Tools
• Discharge from the Nursing Home
• Resident Assessment Instruments
• The RAI Process
• Filing out the MDS
• Resident Assessment Protocols
• Care Planning
• Monitoring the Treatment Plan
• Quarterly Review
• Annual Review
• Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Activity Professional Module 4
Quality Assurance & Management Roles
• Resident Council
• Family Council
• Activity Department Volunteers
• One-on-One Volunteer Friendship Programs
• Quality Assurance
• Infection Control
• Risk Management
• Immediate Jeopardy
• Resident’s Rights
• Restraints
• Behavior Management
• Time Management
• Budgets
• Policies and Procedures
• OBRA Regulations
• Surveys & Survey Groups
• Medications in the Elderly
Activity Professional Module 5
Planning a Successful Exercise Program
• Defining Frail Elders & Special Needs
• Common Medical Disorders in the Elderly
• The Exercise Program
• Make It Motivating, Safe and Effective
• Creating a Sense of Fun and community
• Setting UP a Group Exercise Class
• Helpful Tips for Starting the Exerciser Class
• Safety Precautions for Warm-Ups
• Guidelines for Warm-Up Exercises
• Basic Seated Warm-Up Exercises
• Basic Standing Warm-Up Exercises
• Variations and Progression
• Range-of-Motion Instruction
Activity Professional Module 6
Implementing an Exercise Program
• Aerobic Training for Cardiovascular Endurance
• Safety Precautions for Aerobic Training
• Guidelines for Aerobic Training
• Aerobics Instruction
• Resistance Training for Muscular Strength
• Myths About Resistance Training
• Safety Precautions for Resistance Training
• Guidelines for Resistance Training
• Resistance Training Instruction
• Stretching and Relaxation Exercises
• Safety Precautions for Cool-Down Exercises
• Guidelines for Cool-Down Exercises
• Stretching Instruction
• Putting Your Exercise Program Together
• Designing Your Exercise Program
• Scheduling Your Exercise Classes
• Modifying the Exercises
• Maintaining Fitness Results
• Monitoring Attendance and Progress

Aging & Society Module 1
The Field of Social Gerontology
• The Social Construction of Age
• Myths and Beliefs About Aging
• Age as a Classification Tool
• Social Hierarchies
• The Origins of Gerontology
• The Emergence of Gerontology as a Scientific Field
• Career Opportunities in Gerontology
• Surveys and Observations in Social Gerontology Research
Aging & Society Module 2
Demography, Population Characteristics, and Living Arrangements
• Sex, Race, and Ethnicity
• Age Structure of the Population
• Birth Rates, Death Rates, and Migration
• The Demographic Transition
• The Importance of Baby Boomers
• Characteristics of the 65+ Population Today
• Poverty in Later Life
• Assisted Living and Nursing Homes
Aging & Society Module 3
Theories of Aging
• Why Theories in Social Gerontology
• Individual, Society, and Individual and Societal Theoretical Foundations
• Twentieth-Century Theories About Later Life
• Beliefs About Aging and Old People
• Individual and Society Level Theories
• Age Stratification and Life Course
• Power and Inequality Approaches
• Political Economy of Aging
Aging & Society Module 4
Health, Illness, and Health Care in Later Life
• The Fountain of Youth
• Longevity and Long Life
• Biological Theories of Aging
• Age-Related Changes and Health
• Changes in Physical Appearances
• Acute and Chronic Illnesses
• Functional Disabilities and Limitations in Activities
• Patterns of Health Care Use
Aging & Society Module 5
Personality and Adult Development
• Adult Socialization
• Self-Concept and Self-Esteem
• Stage Theories of Personality Development
• The Discovery of Midlife and Beyond
• Eight Stages of Life and Generativity
• The Seasons of Life
• Late Life Personality Changes
• Successful Aging

Aging & Society Module 6
Cognition, Intelligence, and Memory
• Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence
• Cognitive Decline
• Information Processing, Learning, Memory
• Subsystems of Memory
• Techniques to Improve Memory
• Cognitive Changes: Inevitable, Myth, or Mediated by Life Changes?
• Dementia
• Alzheimer’s Disease

Aging & Society Module 7
Family Relationships and Social Bonds
• What are Families?
• Life Chances and the Family
• Family Structure Variations Today
• Contemporary Traditional Family Forms
• Families in Later Life
• Love and Intimacy
• Social Supports
• Relatives and Friends as Sources of Social Support

Aging & Society Module 8
Work, Retirement, and Leisure
• Labor Force Participation
• Education Participation
• Retirement
• Factors Influencing Workers to Retire
• Health and Retirement
• Retirement as a Labor Management Strategy
• Postretirement Patterns
• Leisure Activities
Aging & Society Module 9
Economic Security, Public Policy, and Politics
• Income in Later Life
• Distribution of Income and Assets
• Net Worth in Later Life
• Income Inequality in Later Life
• Expenditures: Older People as Consumers
• Types of Expenditures
• Legislation Benefiting Older Americans
• Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Aging & Society Module 10
Death, Dying, and Bereavement
• Twenty-First-Century Morality Trends
• The Changing Demography of Death
• Death in American Society
• Fear of Death and Attitudes Toward Dying
• Funeral Practices
• End-of-Life Care
• Advance Directives
• Bereavement, Grief, and Mourning
Aging & Society Module 11
Social Policy, Economics, and Demography
• Aging Globally: Lessons for Social Policy
• Populations Aging and Social Policy in Asia
• Economic Challenges for an Aging Population
• Retirement Income
• Framing Social Policies of Aging and Older People
• The Social Security Debate
• Medicare
• Paying for Long-Term Care


12 months




There are no specific prerequisites for this program. Students will need access to both a computer and the internet. Students should have basic keyboarding and computer skills, and be comfortable navigating the internet.

The intended audience for this program is individuals that are seeking to enhance their skills or find employment as an Activity Professional.






This class supported by an Educational Mentor. Our educational mentors have worked or are working in the subject they mentor. Educational Mentors reviews student work, student progress, and interacts with students as needed. They respond to any questions or concerns you might have, as well as encouraging and motivating you to succeed.


Internet Access
• Broadband or high-speed internet access is required. Broadband includes DSL, cable, and wireless connections.
• Dial-Up internet connections will result in a diminished online experience. Moodle pages may load slowly and viewing large audio and video files may not be possible.

• Windows hardware configurations and processors are acceptable
• Mac computers MUST have Microsoft Window Operating Systems over Bootcamp (Bootcamp is a free download from Apple's website)
• 1 GB RAM minimum recommended
• Operating Systems
-Windows XP, Vista or 7 and Mac OS X 10 or higher with Windows
• Web Browsers
-Google Chrome is highly recommended
-Internet Explorer is not recommended as it may not display certain menus and links
• Cookies MUST be enabled
• Pop-ups MUST be allowed (Pop-up Blocker disabled)
• Kindle Reader App
• Adobe PDF Reader
• Media Plug-ins (These may be required depending on your course media.)
• Adobe Flash Player
• Adobe Acrobat Reader, Apple Quicktime, Windows Media Player, &/or Real Player
• PowerPoint Viewer

The following textbooks will be provided to each student upon registration:

• Long Term Care for Activity Professionals and Recreational Therapists by Elizabeth Best-Martini
• Exercise for Frail Elders by Elizabeth Best-Martini
• Social Gerontology: Issues and Prospects by Elizabeth W. Markson & Peter J. Stein

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