Aging Immune Systems Make Older Adults More Vulnerable to Attack - RD494

Aging Immune Systems Make Older Adults More Vulnerable to Attack

by Connie C. Chettle, MS, MPH, RN and Linda R. Greene, MPS, RN, CIC
(4.5 / 70 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Dietetics/Nutrition (1.00 CPEU)

Price: $20.00
CE-PRO Price: $10.00


Older adults comprise 12% to 13% of the U.S. population, yet they account for 26% of all physician office visits, 35% of all hospital stays, 50% of all ICU days, 34% of all prescriptions, 38% of all emergency medical responses and 43.6% of the national hospital bill. In the next 20 years, the number of people older than 65 is expected to double, from 35.1 million to more than 71.5 million. By 2030, one in every five Americans will be older than 65. As this population increases, healthcare providers across disciplines will be caring for an even greater number of acutely ill elderly patients. This updated module will help healthcare professionals as a team understand how age-related changes in the immune system increase the risk for and severity of common infections in elderly patients.


The goal of this immunosenescence continuing education program is to help nurses, health educators, dietitians, laboratory technologists, massage therapists and occupational therapists understand how age-related changes in the immune system increase the risk and severity of common infections in elderly patients. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
  • List three reasons elderly patients are more likely to develop an infection than younger patients
  • Describe what happens to the immune system as we age
  • Explain why it is so important that healthcare workers of various disciplines be vaccinated for influenza to protect their elderly patients

Approval Information
This course is intended for multiple professions, including nurses, health educators, dietitians, laboratory technologists, massage therapists and occupational therapists.
Dietitians: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit. 
For the version accredited or approved for another profession, go to your specific profession at or If you have a CE Direct login ID and password (generally provided by your employer), please log in as you normally would at and search for this topic title.
OnCourse Learning is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Accredited Provider (#GD001) with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). This course is a Level 2 course. Suggested CDR Learning Codes: 2000, 2060, 4000, 4040, 4190
OnCourse Learning is also accredited by the Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition (provider # FBN 50-1489).
This program has been approved for fulfilling the continuing education requirements of the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM). Granting prior approval does not constitute endorsement of the program content or its program sponsor.

Course Originally Released on: 3/23/2009
Date of Most Recent Review: 3/31/2015
Course Termination/Update Date: 3/31/2018

Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.


For Florida professionals:

This course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.

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Valentina R - Chandler, AZ  ·  Jul 31, 2016
was ok, all this statistics and % got me bored. It's can be more information about elderly adults immune.
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KATHLEEN N - TN, TN  ·  Jun 28, 2016
This course helped me to understand why and how the immune system ages. As an RD it made me aware of how nutritional deficiencies can accelerate this process.
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Cindy W - Geneseo, IL  ·  Apr 18, 2016
Very helpful for long term care facilities
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Lorene M - Winnipeg, MB  ·  Mar 12, 2016
Very interesting. Makes you realize the importance of nutrition in ensuring age-related declines in the immune system- especially since so many of our aging population have poor diets and are at risk for malnutrition.
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mary m - Albany, NY  ·  Jan 21, 2016
While not directly associated with daily teaching an awareness of symptoms, treatment and cost is necessary in the health field.
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Price: $20.00
CE-PRO Price: $10.00