Meet the Programme Leader: Care of the Older Person


At Learna, we pride ourselves on our exceptional faculty of dedicated experts in the healthcare industry. As an online learning platform, we have the unique advantage of working with top specialists around the world, with no restrictions of geographical location. This in turn empowers our students, who benefit from access to world-class education, no matter where they are based.

In this edition of our ‘Meet the expert’ blog, we are excited to introduce our esteemed Programme Lead for the Care of the Older Person courses, Dr. Pierluigi Struzzo. A highly experienced consultant geriatrician with over 30 years’ experience in healthcare and ageing, Dr Struzzo brings to the programme not only a wealth of knowledge and expertise, but also an inspiring passion for both education and healthcare.

With Dr Struzzo's passion for teaching and his extensive knowledge in the field, he is perfectly placed to direct our elderly care courses and support students to develop their skills and enhance their knowledge of geriatric care.

About Dr Pierluigi Struzzo, Care of the Older Person Programme Leader

Dr Pierluigi Struzzo has spent most of his professional life between Italy and the UK. After qualifying from the University of Bologna and Triste, he spent years working as a Consultant and Respiratory Specialist in the Italian Healthcare system before relocating to the UK, where he has since worked as a consultant geriatrician in various NHS locations, including COVID-19 wards.

Throughout his career, Dr Struzzo has balanced his clinical responsibilities with research and management duties at both a micro and macro level. With a particular research focus on respiratory diseases and alcohol issues, he has collaborated on multiple EU projects, and served as a consultant for the World Health Organisation Euro policies.

Dr Struzzo is a dedicated tutor, having taught at the University of Udine and at the Regional Centre for training in General Medicine. He has authored nearly 100 scientific publications in both peer and non-peer reviewed journals.

Research Experience

  • Principal Investigator, ‘Optimising and integrating the delivery of primary care services for risky drinkers in Region Friuli-Venezia Giulia’
  • Co-Principal/Country Investigator, ‘Optimising delivery of healthcare interventions’
  • Principal Investigator, ‘Exchange of methodologies between European Countries to define essentials of European Community Actions supporting primary health care action against Tobacco consumption and hazardous drinking’
  • Principal Investigator, ‘European Respiratory Health Survey Udine’
  • Principal Investigator, ‘City Council of Udine, WHO Healthy City Project’
  • Co-Principal Investigator, ‘WHO Collaborative project on identification and management of alcohol related problems in primary health care’

Dr Struzzo on embracing the journey of ageing

“Getting old doesn’t always mean suffering from bad health or being a burden to society. Getting old also means having a huge background of experience, representing our roots, and still having the capacity of being important and productive, both for the family and for the community. This is true especially in challenging periods like the one we are living in now.

Gerontology is the science that studies the normal ageing of our functions, while Geriatrics is the medical specialty that manages and treats diseases in older adults. I think in addition to the traditional needs-based approach, doctors should add an assets-based approach based on the maximisation of resources available to support the older person. This approach could have an important impact and add value both from the perspective of the patient and services integration.

Understanding and maximising the resources and assets of every single older person (and community) can help us in adopting a consistently positive approach, which has further benefits for our patients.”

A paradigm shift: promoting positivity with asset-based care

The asset-based approach which Dr Struzzo endorses recognises the importance of community and seeks to create solutions through collaboration. Moving away from traditional models of geriatric care which focus on deficits, asset-based approaches are solution focused, building on existing human, social, cultural and environmental resources available to individuals and communities. Rather than following a strict set of rules and regulations, this approach derives from a spectrum of opinions and considers a holistic picture of the individual’s life.

By considering an asset-based approach as taught in our elderly care courses, students can treat older patients in a way that promotes resilience and independence, engaging people through respect and equality with a combination of formal health and social care services with those of communities and informal networks. Ultimately, the aim of such care is to reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing, resulting in improved physical and mental health outcomes in an ageing population.

Why study our elderly care courses?

If you are ready to take your knowledge and career to the next level, a diploma in geriatric medicine could be the ideal next step. Studying our PgDip in Care of the Older Person with Learna | Diploma MSc will prepare you to implement evidence-based care and best practice when working with older people, allowing you to develop leadership potential in a complex and rapidly changing environment.

After completing a one-year diploma in elderly care, our Care of the Older Person MSc follows on perfectly to expand your career progression, with a professional project in a relevant topic to develop critical research and evaluation skills which are highly sought after by employers. By studying with Learna, you can complete your masters in geriatrics in just two years.

All of our flexible courses are delivered online, meaning that you can study from anywhere in the world, and with no lectures or seminars, you can participate in our academic forum at a time convenient for you.

We understand that balancing full-time work, family life, and career progression can feel like a lot! That’s why at Learna | Diploma MSc, we work selectively with experts such as Dr Struzzo to offer you world-class education, as well as access to support and guidance throughout your studies.

Not only will you benefit from tutor-support, you will also join a multidisciplinary network of healthcare professionals across the globe, allowing you to develop a global perspective and share learning and best practice.

Ready to take the next step towards progressing your career working with older people? Visit our course pages to apply today.