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How to Improve Care for the Elderly: Identifying Red Flags

Learn how to recognise critical signs in the elderly that could indicate a serious problem and the need for emergency care.

511 enrolled on this course

An elderly man looks at a pill bottle in his hand while sitting across the table from a doctor in the doctor's office.

How to Improve Care for the Elderly: Identifying Red Flags

511 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
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    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Provide better elderly care in personal or professional settings

It’s estimated that by 2050, 30% of the population will be over 65. This means that more people will need to know how to properly care for the elderly.

Whether you provide care in a professional or personal context, this three-week course will arm you with the knowledge and tools to enhance your care for the elderly.

Throughout the course, you’ll develop your understanding of the different health issues the elderly face. What’s more, you’ll gain crucial skills to recognise the signs that indicate the need for urgent or emergency care.

Understand the considerations for caring for the ageing population

You’ll start by unpacking the physiology of ageing and the different care considerations for the elderly demographic.

Next, you’ll gain an introduction to the different signs and symptoms to be aware of, such as disorientation, weight loss, and the inability to take care of basic tasks.

Recognise the atypical presentations in caring for the elderly

Diseases can often present themselves differently in elderly people, making it challenging to identify the signs of a serious problem.

On the course, you’ll develop your understanding of atypical presentations of diseases as you learn how to identify risk factors that increase this likelihood.

This knowledge will help you become better equipped to recognise the need for urgent or emergency care.

Learn from the experts at The University of West Indies

Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by physician Dr Williams-Johnson and the specialists at The University of West Indies. With their expertise, you’ll finish with the knowledge and skills to improve your care for the elderly.


  • Week 1

    Healthy Ageing

    • Demographics of ageing

      An examination of the demographics of ageing in various regions worldwide and the Caribbean.

    • Physiology of ageing

      Explore the physiology of ageing and gain an understanding of how aging affects the biological system.

    • Discussion and overview

      Scenario-based discussion and overview of ageing.

  • Week 2

    Considerations for Care

    • Introduction to care considerations

      In this activity we will explore some of the important things to consider when caring for elderly persons or family members.

    • Signs and symptoms

      In this activity, we will explore some possible signs and symptoms to help you determine whether augmented care is needed.

    • Care and decision making

      In this activity we will look at various scenarios to help you in your decision-making.

    • Assessment and overview

      A review of the activities explored in Week 2.

  • Week 3

    Atypical Presentation

    • Atypical presentation explained

      A disease state that is missing some of the traditional core features of the illness usually seen in younger patients.

    • Discussion and assessment

      Discussion on four cases of elderly patients who went to their general practitioner with different complaints.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the importance of caring for this expanding sector of the Caribbean population
  • Describe the physical changes due to age in several biological systems
  • Identify early warning signs that elderly persons need augmented care
  • Assess the factors which determine how and where care should take place
  • Identify the key characteristics of quality care provided by an institution or personal carer
  • Interpret atypical presentations of illness in elderly
  • Engage the elderly patient in discussions about their care

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who cares for elderly people including physicians, nurses, and those caring for elderly relatives at home.

No prior knowledge or experience is needed, although some understanding of basic medical care would be useful.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Jean Williams-Johnson is a Consultant Emergency Physician at the University Hospital of the West Indies and Senior Lecturer in Emergency Medicine, the University of the West Indies.

Who developed the course?

The University of the West Indies

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is the Caribbean’s premier, higher education institution. One of only two regional universities in the world, it comprises five campuses across the English-speaking Caribbean and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. The UWI stands among the top 1.5% of universities globally, following Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2022.

  • Established

  • Location

    The West Indies

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 23 Mar 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 4 March 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 4 March 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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