Counseling 15: Gerontology

Instructor: Fr. Makary Ibrahim, 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

On-Site Lesson Schedule: 
Readings Prior to Arrival:
Chapter 3 & 4: Practical Theology for Aging

The Instructor will give an overview of the course and will emphasize the important points.
Distance Learning Lesson Schedule:

Week Lesson Text Book Assignment Test Schedule
Week 1 Pastoral Care of Older Adults Chapters 1 to 4
Week 2 Practical theology for Aging Chapter 6 Test 1+2 
Week 3 Practical theology for Aging Chapters 7 – 8
Week 4 Practical theology for Aging Chapter 5 Test 3+4
Week 5 Practical theology for Aging Chapters 9 – 10
Week 6 Practical theology for Aging Chapters 2 to 4 Test 5+6
Assignment Booklet Assignment 
Week 7 Pastoral Care of Older Adults Chapters 5 to 8
Week 8 Practical theology for Aging Chapters 11 – 12 Test 7+8
Week 9 Pastoral Care of Older Adults Chapters 9 to 12
Week 10 Pastoral Care of Older Adults Chapters 13 to 15 Test 9+10
Week 11 Practical theology for Aging Chapter 13
Week 12 Practical theology for Aging Chapter 14 Test 11+12
Final TEST 
Grading Scale: Test Schedule Percentage of course grade
A = 90-100

B = 80-89

Below 80 will get certificate of attendance

Test 1- Test 12

Final Test





Assignment Topic:
As a Church Helper, you are called upon to develop a “Guidebook for Older Adults” The Booklet will include (in the table of contents), at least: 1- Your Community Resources for the Elderly & for Alzheimer’s disease, including phone #s & addresses 2- Research the important DOCUMENTS that senior adults ought to have (medically & legally). Include the forms used in your State. 3- Selected Biblical Verses to encourage the seniors in their different stages of life & different states of trouble & suffering.

Course Requirements:

1. Attending the course’s lectures in the announced conference.

2. Having daily access to the Internet and basic typing skills.

3. Turning assignments after the dead line may reduce the score by 25 %

4. There will be a comprehensive final exam which will be following all the rest of the work that has been completed and turned in.

Your Assignment:
All papers must be typed or word-processed using a 12-point Arial font. Papers must be doubled-spaced with one-inch margins on all sides.

Your paper has to be an average of 10 pages.

1. First page is the title page (title, your name, instructor’s name, course name)

2. Assignment

3. Last page is the reference page.