The populations of the United States and the world are growing older, precipitating important changes in health and social policies. At present, one in eight Americans are 65 or older. These growing numbers will increase the demand for individuals with gerontological skills and knowledge. The Gerontology Certification requires 20 credits, or equivalent, and includes a required core and practicum through which students study aging as an interactive process of physical, social and psychological forces. Two credits of field experience with aging-related content will be required in the student’s own major area of study.
Requirements for the Specialization
The following outcomes will be achieved through required courses:
Identify major biological theories of aging.
Identify and describe the biological changes associated with aging.
Recognize normal and pathological changes that occur in organ systems with age.
Comprehend the social, political and economic aspects of aging.
Recognize and discard stereotypes associated with aging.
Work in direct or indirect service to the older population.
The following outcomes may be achieved through the student’s selection of elective courses:
Understand lifespan concept of development and demonstrate an integrated knowledge of the aging individual within the context of family.
Understand the reciprocal nature of family caregiving.
Understand the process of grief for older adults.
Recognize personal and cultural attitudes toward death.
Identify and understand the ethical issues related to health care for the elderly.
Demonstrate ability to plan and develop nutritious meals and programs for older individuals which take into account physical and financial limitations.
Assist aging individuals, especially those with physical limitations, to find suitable and aesthetically pleasing clothing. Understand the product needs of older consumers and the promotional strategies used to market to this population.
Understand counseling approaches and techniques for working with aging families in order to construct models for counseling older individuals and their families.
Assist older individuals and their families with financial planning.
Identify the effects of exercise upon an older individual.
Explain the psychological and physiological dimensions and impact of disability from a developmental perspective.
Identify needs and difficulties unique to older disabled workers.
Identify formal support systems available to older persons with special needs or national, state and local needs.
Explain various understandings of the meaning of aging as portrayed in literature.
Identify architectural barriers confronted by the disabled traveler.
Understand the range of technological options available to assist frail and/ or disabled elderly.
Identify and describe absorption and metabolism of medications in the elderly.