Center on Aging Continuing Education Courses – For Health and Social Service Professionals
Older adult
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The Courses

Recreation and leisure for caregivers

This training will broaden caregiver perspectives on enjoyable activities and connect them to quality of life.  It will help individual identify their own attitudes towards leisure and recreation and identify and resolves concerns that inhibit involvement with recreation and leisure.  The purpose of this training is to illustrate the manner in which leisure and recreation can benefit caregivers, and broaden participants' perspectives regarding enjoyable activity and its effects upon the quality of life.  The primary objective of this workshop is to illustrate participants' understanding of both the value and role that recreation and leisure play in the enhancement in day-to-day life.  This will be completed through:

  1. Discussing the meaning of recreation/leisure

  2. Providing self-care through leisure/recreation

  3. Determining what leisure/recreation experiences participants find pleasurable

  4. Understanding challenges and developing a variety of strategies to address those barriers that hinder leisure/recreation involvement


According to the literature, most caregivers are middle-aged and older. In other words, we have the Grandparent generation caring for itself as well as for the Great grandparent generation. This phenomenon is true of both Black and White adults. The differences between tine two are their coping resources.  The direction of this training is to recognize signs of stress as well as to address coping resources and copies of styles of Black and White adults.  Conclusion will be with suggestive measures to provide respite for the caregivers.  This one-half day training module is designed to: Review recent literature that addresses differences in the ways in which Black and White adults manage stress.  Engage caregivers in discussions related to stress.  Encourage methods of leisure for caregivers.  Review signs of stress and burnout.


This half day session is designed to give participants a holistic view of the African American church in America including its role as a provider of social services to African American elders.  It provides background information on the history of the African  American church in America and confirms the dual responsibility of the church as a source of spiritual strength and provider of social services.  The role of the church as the transmitter of culture in the African American community, and the ways that practitioners in the field of aging and family members can tie into the resources of the African American church on behalf of older people is discussed.  Participants will be encouraged to educate the African American church community as to the needs of African American elders; and examine the importance of formal ties to religion as African Americans grow older.


The purpose of this training is to broaden the ability of individuals who work with African American elders to: Understand and respect the differences and uniqueness of all people; institute culturally based practice in direct interaction with all clients; and move away from only Eurocentric models of practice.  The primary objective is to increase the awareness of the professional community as to the concrete differences in communication and relationship building between African American and other elderly groups.  At a minimum this program explores the following:

Clear delineation of the communication differences between African American and European American elderly;

The cultural context of communication styles from the perspective of West African tradition;

Verbal and nonverbal interaction between language and culture;

Why it is important for human service workers who serve an older African American population to "break the code" in order to provide quality service;

How an understanding of communication in a cultural context can help African American elderly gain access to formal social service systems. 


This training is designed to focus on issues of the African American family from the focal point of the older member, and identify and discuss the African American family from the perspective of its strengths.  Trainers will assist participants to focus their assessment skills to identify and use the positive attributes of the African American family for the benefit of elderly family members, and empower families to become active participants in the development of plans of care.  The life cycle theory of aging as it relates to understanding African American elderly in the context of the family will be reviewed.  The goals for the session are:

·             To provide information to the workshop participants on the African American concept of family shaped by African heritage as well as the reality of slavery;

·             To discuss the cultural belief in the veneration of the elderly as the transmitters of culture and how to recapture this;

·             To examine communication issues and building relationships with African American elders and their family members;

·             To review a model for working with the African American family as a unit: not as individual pieces of a pie;

·             To understand informal and formal systems from a cultural and historical perspective in the African American Family.

Health Care Issues and The Black Elderly - Black Culture: ITS IMPACT on Health Care Worker / Client Interaction

This four hour course will examine the historical development of Black culture, and its influence on the development of health care practices and beliefs among black elderly.  Cultural conflicts and differences in communication patterns existing between health care workers and black elderly will be explored.  Emphasis will be placed on identifying methods of strengthening interactions between members of the health care profession and the clients they serve.  The Objectives for this course are:

·             Trace the development of African American culture in the U. S.

·             Describe the ways in which black culture influences the development of health care attitudes, beliefs and practices among the elderly.

·             Examine the concept of "culture conflict” as it exist between black elderly and health care workers.

·             Develop a sensitivity for differences in communication patterns that exist between the elderly and members of the health professions.

·             Identify factors that influence attitudes and health beliefs of health care workers.

·             Recall methods of minimizing barriers to interaction and strengthening care delivery to black elderly clients.


This training addresses the population trends regarding diversity.  It presents the impact of culture on communication and the delivery of service.  The program assists the participants to begin to address the issue with self-awareness and addresses techniques to address communication, and presents and intercultural helping model.

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