Counseling 15: Gerontology

Instructor: Mona Hanna, MD

Course Description: Our aging population is growing rapidly so that by the year 2025 it is estimated that the number of persons age 65 or over in the US will increase by more than 100%. Also chronic health problems are common in older adults and many normal changes of aging are similar to and may blend in with symptoms of treatable diseases. This course will address the normal changes of aging and the abnormal ones that need to be helped in counseling. We will explore the roles of religion and spirituality and their implications for the physical and mental health and psychosocial outcomes in older adulthood.   Course Objectives: At the conclusion of the course, students should: 1- Learn the health changes expected with normal aging. 2- Realize what older adults can do to maintain their physical and mental health. 3- Help facilitate the spiritual growth in later life. 4- Understand the challenges and dilemma of aging. 5- Understand the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the victims and their caregivers. 6- Learn how to help the disabled and dependent older adults to cope and how faith can play an important role. 7- Learn how to help the depressed, the grieved, the anxious and the fearful elderly. 8- Be able to figure creative living in later years. 9- Understand how to include the oldest-old in the church and society.   Required Text: 1- Watkins, Derrel; Practical Theology for Aging. Haworth Pastoral Press., ISBN# 0-7890-2227-3 ISBN-13: 978-0789022271 2- Koenig, Harold; Pastoral Care of Older Adults. Fortress Press., ISBN# 0-8006-2964-7, ISBN-13: 978-0800629649 Recommended Text: Kirkland, K.;  Spiritual Therapy for the Elderly