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Aging Gracefully: Informed Choices for Health, Wellness, and Well-Being

presented by Cheryl Van Demark, PT, MA, C-IAYT

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial— Cheryl Van Demark receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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The human body reflects intelligent design capable of continual adaptation as we interact with our environment, from our first breath to our last. While our genetics and nutrition greatly influence our health status over our lifespan, our responses to life events and relationships, along with our health behaviors and capacity for resiliency, also determine our potential to age gracefully. This course will provide the rehabilitation medicine professional with an integrative and interprofessional perspective, inspiring collaboration with older adult patients in generating states of well-being associated with optimal aging. Our therapeutic relationship is strengthened when clinicians understand patient attitudes toward their aging process, which includes recognizing their beliefs (and our own) about what is and is not inevitable as we age.

Meet Your Instructor

Cheryl Van Demark, PT, MA, C-IAYT

Cheryl Van Demark is a physical therapist, yoga therapist, and yoga teacher with a master's degree in physical education and exercise science. She has enjoyed more than 30 years of helping individuals optimize body alignment, restore movement, build strength, and cultivate a balance in body, mind, and spirit to pursue joyful living. Cheryl is deeply…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Adaptation

As the famous saying goes, “It is not the strongest species that survive; it is the ones most adaptable to change.” Change is a universal constant, yet humans tend to be change averse. Such dissonance is inherently stressful! Adapting to identification as an “older adult” (60 and over) significantly challenges our relationship to change. Developing successful strategies for stress coping and acceptance influences our resiliency and psychoneuroendocrine capacity to age gracefully.

2. Are NCDs a Choice?

NCDs (non-communicable diseases) are prevalent comorbid conditions in older adults. These lifestyle-mediated chronic disease states lead many in their “golden years” to lament not having taken better care of themselves. Helping patients understand the unique integration of the many socioeconomic, genetic, environmental, behavioral, and societal conditioning factors that have shaped their health status lays the personal groundwork for self-compassion and self-efficacy, empowering their change-making, and illustrates the need for inter-professional collaboration to establish wellness and well-being as a necessary components in all health care.

3. Believing We Can Change

The etymology of “rehabilitation” suggests we can make fit to live in this home that is our body-mind-spirit. Empowering older adults to embrace themselves as still biologically dynamic and embace neuroplasticity in their ongoing home remodeling process is a key concept. Clinicians, patients, and caregivers can train our attention to discern experiences, environments, and choices that can consciously and unconsciously promote or demote wellness, well-being, and potential for successful rehabilitation.

More Courses in this Series

Integrative Treatment For Patients Experiencing Chronic Pain

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Integrative Treatment For Patients Experiencing Chronic Pain

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

The National Pain Strategy (2016) describes chronic pain as a disease affecting more than a third of our population. Participation in this course will prepare rehabilitation professionals to meet the needs of the rising tide of Boomers surging into our health care system suffering with chronic pain and multiple NCDs (non-communicable diseases). Hippocrates sagely advised "it is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than what sort of disease a person has." While health professionals are well educated in explaining the neuroscience of pain and mitigating deconditioning in this patient population, it appears we are ill equipped to directly address how we (patients and practitioners) embody suffering. In this course, the rehabilitation professional will apply Hippocrates' advice to enhance our biopsychosocial-spiritual patient interviews, and integrate simple evidence-informed tools from yoga and other contemplative practices to improve our therapeutic presence and help patients identify and relieve suffering. This metacognitive course will rejuvenate the practitioner and inspire truly patient-centered care for the older adult experiencing chronic pain.

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