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Free gerontology courseware collections

Health care professionals working with aging or elderly patients can increase their training and educational background by taking classes online through open courseware. Schools like the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and MIT make it possible for long-term care workers, hospital employees, medical researchers, medical students, and even children of aging parents better understand the public policies, social, cultural, and economic effects of aging. Classes like Health Across the Life Span: Frameworks, Contexts and Measurements; Managing Long-Term Care Services for Aging Populations; and Introduction to Neuroscience represent a diverse offering of classes available online in this field. Topics covered in class include the aging process, mental disorders, the culture of aging, health care policy, Medicare, nursing homes, neurological conditions seen in the elderly, and others.

Open courseware provides a unique opportunity for learning for all types of students, including working professionals wanting relevant information so that they can stay current in their field, as well as medical students or undergraduate students wanting to explore different subjects in gerontology. Classes can be accessed 24/7, as long as the student has access to an Internet connection. Many of these classes provide links to additional resources that provide a broader view of gerontology and health care policies in general. Students improve upon and learn new skills that help them run long-term care facilities; treat, communicate with, and understand aging patients; and conduct neurological research studies that can benefit the field.