Geriatric Care Degree Programs and Courses

If helping the elderly navigate their emotional, social and medical needs is an important value to you, you may want to consider a career in geriatric care. Geriatric care covers a number of health and personal services for elderly individuals. Learn about relevant degree programs and coursework at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Schools offering Adult Health Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Typically, when one refers to geriatric care, one is referring to professionals who deal with the emotional and health concerns of the elderly. You can study this field at the undergraduate and graduate level, depending on the type of career you want to pursue. Certification is required for employment as a geriatric caregiver.

Degrees Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees are available
Courses Nutrition and health issues, the psychology of aging, diversity awareness, social issues with the elderly, medical care for the elderly, social policy awareness, life plan development, the biology of aging, research methods, delivering health and social services to the elderly
Responsibilities Recognizing and treating the physical and emotional healthcare needs of the elderly

What Is Geriatric Care?

The science around geriatric care is gerontology, which is the study of aging. According to the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), geriatric care may be thought of as the application of that science, along with other disciplines, toward the well-being of elderly people in the community (www.aginglifecare.org).

What Types of Degree Programs Are Available?

A number of associate's degree, bachelor's degree and master's degree programs can help prepare an individual for a career in geriatric care. The following fields of study all offer insights on how to treat many issues that concern elderly patients, according to the ALCA:

  • Nursing
  • Social work
  • Psychology
  • Gerontology

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of geriatric care, the ALCA works with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Commission for Case Management Certification (CCMC) and the National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM) to certify individuals who want to work with the elderly. Geriatric care nurse assistants, or GCAs, are nursing assistants who gain professional certification to help treat the elderly. Some schools offer certified nursing assistant (CNA) training as part of a GCA certificate program.

What About Doctoral Programs?

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in gerontology can help prepare you for senior-level administrative positions at government, nonprofit and private facilities. These programs can also prepare you to work as a postsecondary teacher or researcher in gerontology. If you earn this type of degree, you might work as a consultant or advocate for governmental bodies or for healthcare, elder care and human services organizations.

What Undergraduate Coursework Is Involved?

Coursework in geriatric care varies by the academic level you pursue. Certificate and bachelor's degree programs in gerontology or a geriatric care nursing assistant program may offer courses such as the following:

  • Nutrition and health issues
  • Psychology of aging
  • Diversity awareness
  • Social issues with the elderly
  • Medical care for the elderly

What About Graduate Courses?

At the graduate level, pre-professional experience is often given through opportunities to observe or participate in elderly care services. You may also take advocacy courses to learn how to match elderly patients with services they need. Examples of course topics may include the following:

  • Social policy awareness
  • Life plan development
  • The biology of aging
  • Research methods
  • Delivering health and social services to the elderly

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Master

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Maryville University

    Maryville University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Maryville University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Herzing University

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  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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