Western Michigan University - Holistic Health 5550

Holistic Approaches to Successful Aging

HOL 5550 Holistic Approaches to Successful Aging
Kay Caskey          (269) 569-4002
Laurie Young        (269) 569-5251
Credit Hours:

Course Description:

This course will focus on holistic factors of aging and lifestyle choices that enable people to preserve and even enhance wellness and vitality later in life. Current images and myths of aging will be explored and research studies that outline holistic ways to delay, prevent, or positively treat common chronic diseases will be presented along with programs and policies that enable older people to practice positive aging strategies. This course will highlight the qualities of older people who remain physically active, intellectually engaged, emotionally involved, spiritually connected, and vital throughout their years.

Course Objectives:

  1. To increase student's understanding of the complex nature of aging and the relative influences of lifestyle choices and other factors of aging well.
  2. To explore conceptualizations of successful aging and to provide information into lifestyle choices used by individuals to prevent, postpone, or diminish the limitation of disease and disability and to increase levels of cognitive, social, and physical functioning.
  3. To explore programs and interventions for elderly populations that infuse complimentary and alternative approaches as well as medical approaches that encourage, enhance, and promote mind/body/spirit vitality.
  4. To compare meaning and value in senescence in a variety of cultural contexts.

Course Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  1. Have an understanding of the positive aspects of aging.
  2. Have an increased awareness of individual challenges, choices, and opportunities of aging well given the complex influences of lifestyle, genetic, and other factors.
  3. Learn holistic ways to postpone, avoid, or reduce the effect of specific diseases and disabilities.
  4. Understand societal and personal commitment to vital involvement in old age.
  5. Be able to identify specific holistic ways to maintain and enhance physical functioning.
  6. Be able to identify specific holistic ways to increase emotional functioning and interpersonal connections.
  7. Be able to identify specific holistic ways to maintain and enhance mental and cognitive functioning.
  8. Understand the importance of the individual's capacity to self-transformation and spirituality in later life.