This course introduces students to the issues and problems unique to the elderly in American society. Topics such as grief and loss, suffering, societal attitude, and family structure are examined.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
The increasing percentage of older persons in the population of the United States will require an increased provision for their counseling needs. To offer effective counseling for the elderly, those working with them in many life areas must know the physiological, psychological, social, and spiritual factors that are significant in later life.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Relate the AAPC (American Association of Pastoral Counselors) and AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors) Codes of Ethics to practice with older populations.
- Appraise research in gerontology in order to provide a foundation for understanding the physical processes, cognition, and personality factors that characterize older persons.
- Interpret the uniqueness of death, dying, and bereavement for each individual in terms of relationship, manner of death, complicating emotions, age, circumstances, etc.
- Evaluate cultural and historical changes and attitudes toward dying through selected readings, films, and discussions.
- Predict factors relevant to social relationships associated with the aging process.
Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt. Each thread must be 300–400 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and reference at least 2 sources in current APA/Turabian format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–250 words.
Elder Connection: Selection Assignment
The student will write a 450–500-word explanation on the elder he or she plans to observe for the Elder Connection: Analysis Assignment.
Movie Critique Assignment
The student will view 3 death or loss-related movies and complete a 2–3-page critique for each. While no title page or abstract is necessary, the student must include a reference page that contains the movie information as well as any other cited references.
Death and Loss: Paper Assignment
The student will develop a 2000-word or less (4–5-page) current APA/Turabian style paper that will review all personal experiences with loss and death during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
Death and Loss: Graph Assignment
Using the information from his or her Death and Loss: Paper Assignment, the student will construct a loss-history graph (similar to a genogram) that represents the loss events in his or her life.
Aging, Death, and Loss Assignment
The student will construct a PowerPoint presentation with a minimum of 40 slides on one of the major aging, death, or loss aspects covered in this course.
Elder Connection: Analysis Assignment
The student will spend at least 10 hours with the elderly (over 75 years of age) either in a one-on-one relationship (family or acquaintance) or by attending a local support group for the same age group. The student will write out his or her experience, including a breakdown of the hours spent, in a 2–3-page report. The report must emphasize what he or she has learned about the elderly and their social interaction, as well as the general content of their average daily routine.
End-of-Life Planning Assignment
The student will complete a cost estimate for a funeral or memorial service, write a will, and write a eulogy or poem to be read at the service. The project must include at least 2 references in current APA/Turabian format, including the textbook, the Bible, and scholarly articles.
Quiz: Code of Ethics
The student will complete a quiz which covers the Code of Ethics of the AAPC and AACC. The quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 45-minute time limit.
The student will complete 3 quizzes that cover the Textbook material for the assigned modules. The quizzes will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 1-hour time limit.