Contemporary Issues in Gerontology will provide students with an understanding of how the process of aging affects individuals and how an aging population affects and influences Canadian society. Aging will be examined within historical, contemporary and culture contexts. Topics will include aging and health, aging demographics, the psychology and sociology of aging, finances and economics, retirement, leisure, housing and transportation, and family social supports. Participants will have the opportunity to identify and examine their personal beliefs and values about the aging process throughout the course.

This course focuses on the development of self-awareness, increased understanding of others and development of effective interpersonal communication skills that can be used in a variety of care giving contexts. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the impact of their own communication choices and patterns. They will have the opportunity to develop and use communication techniques that demonstrate personal awareness, respect and active listening skills.

As people age, cognitive and affective function can be impacted by life events, role change, personal choice and behaviour, acute and chronic disease, or environmental stressors. With a view to helping the older individual attain their optimal level of wellness, this course will explore those psychosocial issues through the lens of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Readings and course dialogue will help gerontological nurses develop strategies to assess coping ability, identify risk factors that undermine independence and well-being, and promote psychosocial health.