May 28, 2024  
2016-2017 Saint Joseph’s College Online 
2016-2017 Saint Joseph’s College Online [Archived Catalog]

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HA 655 - Gerontology

Explores definitions, myths, and expectations of growing older in contemporary U.S. society.  Demographic characteristics are examined, especially those impacting health and long-term care administration.  Biological, psychological, and social-cultural aspects of aging are analyzed.  Special attention is given to cultural competencies and maintenance of person-environmental congruence.  

The focus is on family caregiving and health / enabling technologies to support aging-in-place.  Aging, spirituality, and spiritual care are explored within the context of adapting to transitions along the continuum-of-care.  Interfaith and cross-cultural aspects of religious beliefs and practices are noted, especially as they shape health practices and outcomes.  We then address ethical decision-making and end-of-life care, issues often confronted by health and senior care leaders.  

Assignment Overview

Assignments: 12 weekly assignments

Interactivity: Weekly live session

Course Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to do the following: 

  • Recognize and refute the prevalent myths about aging in contemporary U.S. society. 
  • Describe the key demographic characteristics of older adults that may impact the field of health administration. 
  • Analyze the factors that may influence life expectancy, especially the achievement of extreme longevity. 
  • Apply the major theories of aging from biology, psychology, and sociology to understand the aging process in U.S. society. 
  • Examine age-history, period-cohort effects as they relate to an individuals experience of aging. 
  • Identify the important cultural competencies needed to serve elder health consumers of diverse racial-ethnic backgrounds. 
  • Develop a public policy model that is responsive to the long-term care provided by families and informal support networks. 
  • Identify ways in which GeroTechnology can be used in providing home-based care by family and informal support networks. 
  • View the range of functions served by spirituality and faith-based practices in elder care across the continuum. 
  • Recognize the ethical issues central to end-of-life care and decision making. 
  • Envision older adults as mentors, teaching us how to prepare for our future selves.

Credits: 3

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