Aging comes with a whirlwind of needs: medical, social, relational, psychological and more. You can bring peace amid that tempest by presenting your elderly clients with a compassionate, professional approach to their life. At the same time, you’ll need to be aware of the statistics, cultural perceptions, and services for the aging population. The Bachelor of Human Services with a concentration in gerontology immerses you in the expertise of faculty members who are practicing clinicians and professionals; their classes are the intersection of theory and daily practice. Couple this expertise with a program that promotes accelerated, competency-based learning and a Academic Success Advisor who guides and encourages you, you’ll be prepared for an America where 22 percent of residents will be 65 or older in 2030.
To complete this concentration, you’ll need to choose three of five courses focused on aging:
Cultural Views of Aging
Within every society there is a mosaic of perspectives on aging – some encouraging, some not. Knowing how cultures approach aging enriches your own view. You’ll also learn faith-based perspectives on aging.
Resources and Policies Affecting the Senior Population
Aging can be hostile, considering all the forces affecting access to healthcare, medication and resources. You’ll learn how to create a plan of care that fosters clarity and stability for the client.
Physical Accessibility and the Aging Population
Physical decline can be frustrating as you age. This course helps you understand the range of ailments your clients can face and how you can take action to find the right services to assist them.
Perspectives and Physiology of Aging
Examine the growing field of gerontology, the scientific study of aging, with a multidisciplinary and developmental perspective that sees aging in a positive light with an emphasis on wellness, rather than disability and disease. Explore concepts of ageism, its history, and its impact on individuals, families, and communities.
Death, Dying, and Bereavement
In this course, you'll study processes of grieving and their relationship to death and dying. Topics include ways of dying, effects of death on loved ones, and care for the terminally ill. It will also assess the role of the human service provider in the process of grief and death.
A specialization in gerontology equips you for roles at senior centers, hospice care, hospitals, and social services agencies. The opportunities are as numerous as the growing needs of our senior population. Specific positions include intake coordinator, community outreach specialist, case manager and a home care administrative services director. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a realistic range of salaries for someone with this degree and emphasis can earn between $33,510 and $45,360 nationally in a variety of positions.