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 will detail the unique roles and functions of geriatric care by exploring historical underpinnings, societal needs, and current issues. Twos conceptual model for care of the acutely ill, chronically ill or frail elders will provide groundwork for use of assessment tools and critical analysis. A focus on health promotion and wellness in later life will guide and direct leadership in the care of older adults. Web, electronic and journal resources that support practice will be identified.

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.