Photograph of an older adult riding a bicycle. He has a small dog in the bicycle basket; photo source: Administration on Aging, DHHS Learning Activities

Awareness Competency

Increase own and others' awareness of attitudes, values, and expectations about aging and their impact on care of older adults and their families.

Develop your Awareness Competency by completing some or all of these learning activities. Other than watching a movie, each activity takes 15-30 minutes to complete. We selected them because they were fun, easy to do, and useful to share with your colleagues. Choose the ones that are the most useful and appealing as you prepare to demonstrate your Awareness Competency. You might want to explore them all, to see what resources are here for sharing with others in your work setting or community. Introductory Video for the Awareness Competency

If you prefer, you can read a transcript of the video.

Complete a Crossword Puzzle Picture of a crossword puzzle

We hope you enjoy the Common Problems of Older Adults Crossword Puzzle.

Picture of the letters http: Click on the Internet 

Note: The internet links provided here were active at the time these Older Adult Focus materials were prepared. If a link is no longer active, try searching for the same or similar content using the name of the organization or the title provided.

Aging Quiz


This true-false quiz from Webster University contains common beliefs about aging. It will help you separate fact from fiction. Print the quiz and mark your answers or write down your answers as you read the quiz online. Then check your answers online. Which question provided you with new or surprising information? 

Ageism: An Introduction


Read this introduction to ageism, written by Linda M. Woolf, Ph.D., Webster University. Click on the topics in the left side of the screen and read about them on the right side. You need to understand the concept ageism in order to demonstrate the Awareness Competency.

Explore the Sensory Kit Drawing of a pair of glasses

Use the sensory kit to experience some of the changes common with the aging process. The Instructions for the Sensory Kit will guide you. You may wish to make additional sensory kits and share this activity with others. 

Find an Article or Advertisement

Find an article or advertisement in a newspaper or magazine that demonstrates ageism. Describe in writing the aspects that make it an example of ageism. How does that relate to providing care to older adults? Or, rather than writing your ideas, ask a colleague to look at the article or advertisement and discuss it together in the context of ageism.

Print the Profile

This Statistical Profile of Older Americans Aged 65+ was prepared by the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Print it and find the answers to these questions:

Did you learn anything that surprised you? Did you notice how the older adult population is projected to increase? You are developing Older Adult Competencies at the right time! 

Picture of a movie film Watch a Movie

Watch a movie that features issues related to older adults. You can choose one from the following list or find another.

As you watch the movie, consider the following questions:

Make a Collection

Collect seven to ten items that portray ageism. You could choose one of the following types of items.

  • Birthday cards or other birthday products
  • Other greeting cards
  • Advertisements
  • Cartoons
Drawing of a person selecting greeting cards

Write a short paragraph about each, noting how older adults are portrayed. Share your collection with a colleague, friend, or family member.

Return to top of Learning Activities

After you have completed some or all of these Learning Activities, proceed to the Competency Demonstration

Developed by C. Van Son ©2011

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