What Are the Core Courses of a Gerontology Certificate?

If you work with or are interested in working with the elderly in hospitals or long-term care facilities or through home care agencies, you might want to obtain an undergraduate, graduate or non-degree gerontology certificate. Continue reading to find out about the core courses you could study following your enrollment in such a program. Schools offering Gerontology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Core Subjects Studied in Gerontology

The coursework for gerontology certificate programs differs from school to school, but your curriculum would likely consist of at least three core courses. Since gerontology is the study of the aging process within a broad context, the core courses may include the psychological, biomedical, sociological and physiological aspects of aging. Additional coursework may include elder and disability law, epidemiology, health care and related services. The electives available to you may cover topics such as disabilities, death and dying and family structures. The following are some of the core courses you can generally expect to take in a gerontology certificate program.

Important Facts About Gerontology Certificate Programs

Certificate Levels Both undergraduate and graduate certificate programs available
Possible Careers Hospice care provider, geriatric case manager, grief counselor
Prerequisites Graduate programs require students to have bachelor's degrees or be enrolled in master's or doctoral programs
Online Availability Many programs available completely online

Foundations of Gerontology

An introductory course in gerontology provides you with an overview of this interdisciplinary field. You might explore economic aspects of human aging that will be addressed in-depth in subsequent gerontology classes. This class might also provide you with instruction on research methodologies and theories related to an aging population as well as procedures for providing care and services to the aged.

The Biology of Aging

You could learn about the biological processes of aging while examining current research and theories that pertain to the changes people face during the different stages of their lives. Throughout this course, you might also become familiar with changes that occur in the human body as aging progresses. Discussion can center on the cardiovascular, renal, immunological, skeletal and metabolic systems and the different ways in which people adapt to these systemic changes.

Policies and Programs for the Elderly

In this class, you'll be introduced to theoretical and practical aspects of providing services and programs to aged communities locally as well as at the state and federal levels. Among the topics of discussion are assessment, delivery and results of services provided to the elderly. Methods of measuring benchmarks within the context of social, health and public policy will also be covered.

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