Geriatric Emergency Medicine Educational Resources for Allied Health Care Providers

These resources have been selected for allied health providers who work in emergency departments or with emergency department care providers.

Don Melady, MD, Aaron Malsch RN, MSN, GCNS-BC

According to the Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines and ACEP (American College of Emergency Physicians) GEDA (Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation) criteria, a Geriatric ED requires interdisciplinary staff with training and education specifically relevant to the provision of emergency care of older adults.

An appropriately staffed and educated ED helps to optimize ED visits, delivering coordinated and effective care for high-risk patients, and avoids unnecessary admission by increasing community services or alternate care. Effective interdisciplinary teams in the ED may improve patient outcomes and reduce costs by ensuring appropriate care that is aligned with an older adult’s goals.

This list includes FREE online resources, courses, and certificates for occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, paramedics and others wishing to improve their skills and knowledge in emergency care for older adults.

Free Online Resources

Communicating with Older Adults: An Evidence-Based Review of What Really Works – Gerontological Society of America

Sign up for a free account to access this 35-page booklet with guidance on how to recognize and respond to vision, hearing, and cognitive deficits; questions to ask about an older person’s social supports and living situation; and much more.

Sign Up Here

Communicating with Older Adults (Video) – Gerontological Society of America

This short video offers tips for effectively communicating with older adults, including minimizing background noise and avoiding language that could be interpreted as condescending.

Elder Care Interprofessional Provider Sheets – Arizona Center on Aging, The University of Arizona Health Sciences

The Arizona Center on Aging offers one- to two-page summary sheets on dozens of geriatric care topics, including conducting family meetings, pharmacotherapy for anxiety in older adults, hearing aids, and low vision aids. The sheets include screening and assessment tools as well as treatment guidance.

Access Sheets Here

Geriatric Fast Facts

Geriatric Fast Facts is a database of peer-reviewed information sheets on a wide range of problems faced by older adults, written by multi-specialty teams. Topics range from elder abuse to dizziness to low health literacy. Geriatric Fast Facts is funded by Wisconsin-based health care and education organizations, as well as research grants.

Access Database

Physiotherapy and Older People – Physiopedia

This article describes the essential skills for geriatric physical therapists, highlights validated tools for assessing older adults and summarizes the guiding principles in geriatric physiotherapy. Physiopedia is a non-profit educational organization.

Full Article

Transition between inpatient hospital settings and community or care home settings for adults with social care needs – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

This guideline is designed to help a wide range of health and social service providers improve coordination and communication when patients transition between hospitals and homes or community care settings. The practices and approaches in this guideline have been shown to improve patient safety and health outcomes.

NICE Guideline

Talking with your Older Patient – National Institutes of Health

This resource features several articles on communicating with older adults. Topics include talking to older adults from diverse populations in a culturally appropriate way, talking to older adults who are confused, promoting wellness, and more.

Article Access

Continuing education courses

Geriatrics eLearning Courses – American Occupational Therapy Association

AOTA members have access to a variety of online modules designed to improve their skills and knowledge in assisting older adults with dementia, low vision, poor medication adherence and more common challenges in aging.

AOTA Modules

Geriatric EMS – National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians

The NAEMT offers both a core and advanced geriatric EMS course for EMTs, paramedics, emergency responders, nurses, physician assistants and physicians. To find upcoming in-person course offerings, look for ‘GEMS’ in this list.

GEMS Courses

Geriatrics eLearning Courses – American Physical Therapy Association

APTA provides more than 10 courses designed to help physical therapists effectively intervene in common challenges among older adults. Course topics include supporting older adults after limb loss, the assessment and management of incontinence, preventing and managing skin wounds, and other complex care and age-related topics.

Course Catalogue

Supervisory Leaders in Aging Courses – National Association of Social Workers

Choose from 10 courses taught by leaders in gerontological social work, on topics including mental health in older adults, working with families, and translating evidence to practice. Courses are open to social workers as well as providers from related disciplines.

NASW Courses


Falls Prevention I and II – American Occupational Therapy Association

AOTA members can earn one or both digital badges in Falls Prevention. The courses explore the common reasons falls happen and how to prevent them, using the American Geriatrics Society and British Geriatrics Society Falls Prevention Guidelines, as well as the Person-Environment-Occupation and Model of Human Occupation models of occupational therapy.

Falls Prevention Certificates

Supervisory Leaders in Aging, Principles – National Association of Social Workers

This 10-course certificate is available for social workers and providers in related disciplines. Participants will enhance their own gerontological practice knowledge and hone skills to lead others in optimal service provision for older adults.

SLA Certificate

Specialist Certification: Geriatrics – American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists

Physical therapists can study individually or in a group before completing the 7-hour examination to be certified as specialists in geriatrics. Guidance and resources on how to prepare for the exam are available here and information about the certification process can be found here. The exam is offered annually in 300 testing sites around the world.

Geriatrics Specialist Certificate

Geriatric Pharmacy Practice Certification – Board of Pharmacy Specialties

Board-certified geriatric pharmacists are trained to advocate for appropriate prescribing and work with providers to resolve medication-related problems in older adults. To be certified, pharmacists must pass the BPS Geriatric Pharmacy Certification Examination and complete two years of practice experience with 50% of their time spent on geriatric pharmacy practice.

BCGP Certificate

Contributing Faculty

Don Melady


Dr. Don Melady is an emergency physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada and a founding member of the Geriatric Emergency Department Collaborative. He is the author of the website – a CME accredited program for geriatric emergency medicine education – and the chair of the Geriatric EM committee of the International Federation of Emergency Medicine.

Aaron Malsch


Aaron Malsch is the Senior Services Program Manager at AdvocateAuroraHealth (AAH) in Wisconsin & Illinois. He supports several geriatric models of care (NICHE, Geri ED, HELP, ACE Tracker, Geriatric Scholars). His focus is on nursing and interprofessional practice as it relates to the elder population throughout the AAH system of clinics, hospitals, emergency departments, home care services, and long term setting partners. In support of these models of care, Aaron has developed expertise in developing EHR workflow tools and reports to facilitate front line staff’s efforts and demonstrate outcomes. He leads the Geriatric ED implementation and achieved ACEP Geri ED accreditation at all AAH EDs. Aaron contributes nationally to the improvement of care for older adults, highlighted by being Chair of the geriatric committee at the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), co-planner of GEDC symposium at the ENA conference, and reviewer of Geriatric ED Accreditation program at ACEP.

Join the mailing list to get the latest GEDC updates in your inbox!