GRN2200EN - Intro to Gerontology

Course description

This is a survey course familiarizing multiple disciplines of students with the terminology, concepts, and scope of social, cultural and health topics of importance in any type of engagement of older persons. Students will gain an intimate understanding of the theories of aging, stereotypes, lifespan aging, models of aging, and caregiving. Biopsychosocial model of aging. Additionally students will be introduced to a broad range of professional involvements serving seniors.

How this course benefits students

Intro to Gerontology is applicable to social work, allied health, psychology, pre-med, nursing professions. With rare exception, all ministry and volunteer positions will involve interaction with and or service to older persons in some capacity. To NOT know the basics is to short-change oneself and the people with whom you interact in community. In almost every country, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group, as a result of both longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates. This population ageing can be seen as a success story for public health policies and for socioeconomic development, but it also challenges society to adapt, in order to maximize the health and functional capacity of older people as well as their social participation and security. (WHO retrieved 11/15/16. )

Why this course is important

To not understand aging is to deny an integral part of self, family and society.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Educational level
Social Science Distribution
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Debra Newell, Distinguished Professor of Gerontology

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

We are called to honor our elders, parents; care for and respect them. Through this course, students will learn to apply what is learned in a way that is respectful and will promote the best interaction and care. God blesses the ones He loves and who love Him with a long life.

Missionally driven

To be missional and helpful with and to elderly, one must understand the concept of aging, its plethora of meanings, perceptions, challenges and victories.

Contextually informed

Aging is contextual up and down and all around. The factors that create heterogeneity amongst and between seniors, as well as how it is viewed in the various contexts is divergent.

Interculturally focused

Each culture will have different ways of dealing with the elderly within the family and society; however, aging occurs universally. In some cultures, more healthily, others sooner, others later, some with poor health and many comorbidities. Regardless, the process of aging does occur with some commonalities.

Practically minded

The tenents covered are foundational for all practice and interaction with aging individuals and participation in professional, missions, volunteer work.

Experientially transformed

Exercises included and assignments will capture the experiential aspects of aging and working with aging adults.