Course description

This 8 week online course is designed for rehabilitation professionals who want to elevate their clinic skill set in the management of older adults.  The size of this population is growing rapidly, unfortunately the desire to manage them with cutting edge evidence guided treatment has lagged well behind.  Too often we see our older adults getting under treated, both with exercise and manual therapy, apparently as a consequence of both fear and ignorance.  This course is designed to take a deep dive into exploring misconceptions and laying out a clear current best evidence pathway to enable our older adults to not only survive but to thrive.  A special multi-week emphasis is placed on progressive functional fitness in this population. 

course schedule 

Week 1: Challenging myth and misconception in the older adult

Week 2: Functional testing: What is available and what is best?

Week 3: Tackling the 'Geriatric Giants': Frailty, Sarcopenia, and Failure to Thrive 

Week 4: Psychosocial Concerns and Understanding Polypharmacy 

Week 5: Progressive Functional Fitness: The days of under loading are over 

Week 6: Progressive Functional Fitness: continued

Week 7: Progressive Functional Fitness: continued

Week 8: Progressive Functional Fitness: continued

Course format

This course will contain weekly meetings that will occur Tuesdays at 7 PM EST via GoToMeeting. Attendance at meetings is encouraged but not required. Recordings of meetings will be available after the session has concluded. Course discussion will occur within a private Facebook group created specifically for students where they can talk with faculty, and each other. Course material will be available each week via Google Drive. 

Course faculty 

Christina Nowak:

Christina finished her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Toronto in 2007 and then continued into her Masters of Physiotherapy at McMaster University, graduating in 2013. As a varsity athlete throughout her undergraduate degree, Christina’s interest in health and fitness led her to complete her Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) accreditation through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Christina is certified in Soft Tissue Release and Rock Tape. She is involved as an intern at McMaster University in Strength and Conditioning with women’s rugby. She has recently worked on dry land speed development for Bujan Goaltending. Christina is a competitive CrossFit athlete and coach at CrossFit Battlefield. Christina has a strong interest in athlete development and injury prevention.

Dustin Jones:

Dustin Jones is a Home Health Physical Therapist with a background in sports and orthopedics. He received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2011 from the University of Kentucky and went on to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Russian Kettlebell Instructor (RKC-1).

He blends what he has learned working with athletic populations to help older patients improve their function. The creator and voice behind "The Senior Rehab Podcast", Dustin has been a key voice in shifting attention towards elevating the quality of care, and more specifically in many cases the intensity of care, that we deliver to aging adults.