Promoting Healthy Aging, Innovating for Dementia, Aging Assessment, and Intervention

General

Program Description

  • Teaching period: 6 to 17 July 2020
  • Teaching hours: 45
  • Academic coordinator: Francisco A. Nieto Escámez / Ma Dolores Roldán Tapia
  • Knowledge area: Psychobiology
Mental Health

Natasha Spencer / Unsplash

Introduction

The demographic change foreseen for the coming years leads us to a markedly aged society in a short/medium term, especially in the most developed countries. A direct consequence of population aging is the decrease in the quality of life and health status of the population, highlighting the increase in the incidence of cases of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease. In the absence of definitive pharmacological solutions for the treatment of cognitive deterioration and dementia, a multidisciplinary approach is currently proposed as a preventive measure aiming to promote active and healthy aging. Likewise, evaluation, monitoring, and treatment of cognitive, emotional or social interaction problems in neurological pathologies associated with aging require the involvement of different disciplines, from neuropsychology to robotics, through nutrition, music, physiotherapy or information technologies, among others.

Researchers and experts in neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation, physiotherapy, information and communication technologies, robotics, nutrition, music therapy, sexology present in this course the latest trends for the intervention in the alterations associated with the development of dementia in aging and its prevention through factors that promote healthy aging.

The course lasts 2 weeks (45 hours) and is made of theoretical-practical sessions where experts will provide the students with their knowledge as well as research and professional experience. Along with the classes and workshops, we have programmed two visits to the facilities of the University of Almeria, and specialized centers for elderly people with cognitive impairment assistance.

Objectives

  1. To know the appropriate tools for neuropsychological assessment and intervention in aging.
  2. To know how new technologies (robotics, virtual reality, wearables) promote healthy aging and help intervention in people with cognitive impairment and dementia at different levels.
  3. To know which factors promote healthy aging as a strategy to increase the quality of life of the elderly and prevent cognitive decline and dementia.

Content

Module 1: Aging and cognitive decline

An introduction to the biological and lifestyle factors linked to the development of healthy and pathological aging.

  • Neurobiology of healthy and pathological aging
  • Psychological changes associated with aging and neurological pathology
  • How our lifestyle influences aging
  • Cognitive reserve and aging

Module 2: Neuropsychology applied to aging

Tools for neuropsychological assessment and diagnosis of cognitive decline and intervention strategies.

  • Normal aging vs. cognitive impairment: how to detect it
  • Diagnosis and treatment of the neurological pathology associated with aging (dementia)
  • Daily work with Alzheimer’s patients

Module 3: New technologies and aging

An introduction to new technologies as a fundamental tool in the promotion of active aging.

  • APPs to promote active aging
  • Robotics in the treatment of dementia and as an assistive tool for aging
  • Virtual reality for sensory and cognitive stimulation
  • Wearables for monitoring and assessment of physical activity and physiological response in older adults

Module 4: New lifestyles for healthy aging

New strategies for the promotion of healthy lifestyles in aging

  • Nutrition and aging
  • Promotion of physical activity in senior citizens
  • Encouraging cognitive activity as a healthy lifestyle in aging
  • Sexology of aging
  • Healthy psychological styles in aging
  • Volunteering and social commitment with older adults
  • Animals as therapy and support in aging

Methodology

The different modules will be divided into theoretical-practical sessions where an expert will present the state of the art in each of the topics addressed in the course. A set of practical activities for the students will be proposed, either in groups or individually, so the students bring to practice this knowledge. Teachers will provide an introduction to the topic of the session or workshop and will guide the students through a practical demonstration of the concepts and methodologies worked on.

For the realization of the course, in addition to the academic and professional experience of teachers, students will have access to facilities and technological equipment of the University of Almeria used for evaluation and intervention in healthy and pathological aging from a neuropsychological point of view.

The course will be taught in Spanish and English. In all the modules there will be information in both languages, when the session is given in Spanish the teaching material will be available in English and vice versa.
At the end of each session, a few minutes will be reserved for the students to complete a self- assessment questionnaire that will review the contents and competencies worked on. Likewise, at the end of each module, a brief satisfaction survey will be carried out by the students.

Professional Visits and Complementary Academic Activities

  1. Visit the facilities and laboratories of the University of Almeria where students will be shown how to access bibliographic resources, propose research and intervention protocols in Neuropsychology and Health, as well as the application of ICT solutions to promote healthy and independent living, as well as the assessment, prevention, and treatment of neurological deterioration. A session of assisted therapy with animals (dogs) will be organized.
  2. Visit Classijazz Almeria where various music therapy workshops will be held, along with activities related to dance and movement as therapy and promotion of active and healthy aging.

Assessment

Attendance and participation in the sessions of the course. Completion of a self-assessment questionnaire.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

The University of Almería, Spain, organizes summer courses each July since 2013. They are designed by the most prestigious experts of the leading-edge fields of our University and are taught by Doctor ... Read More

The University of Almería, Spain, organizes summer courses each July since 2013. They are designed by the most prestigious experts of the leading-edge fields of our University and are taught by Doctors and Full Professors of proven expertise and experience in their respective areas of knowledge. All courses have an eminently practical focus and include visits to industries and companies of the field. Read less