ACOVE investigators. Introduction to the assessing care of vulnerable elders-3 quality indicator measurement set. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 55 Suppl. Wilson, M. Appetite assessment: Simple appetite questionnaire predicts weight loss in community-dwelling adults and NH residents.
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American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 82, — Yesavage, J. Development and validation of a Geriatric Depression Scale: A preliminary report. Journal of Psychological Research, 17, 37— Kunkel Global aging is a revolutionary phenomenon that has implications for all aspects of life. Societal responses to the challenges and opportunities of an aging population require decision-makers, researchers, planners and designers, service providers, political leaders, and citizens who are educated about aging. To meet the need for a population educated about aging and to be better able to design policies and programs to address an aging society, academic programs in gerontology are being developed around the world.
Paralleling the unprecedented number of nations seeing growth in gerontology education is an increased value placed on global and comparative perspectives within education about aging. Gerontology programs are increasingly adding global content to their courses, and more programs than even are adding international study programs to their curricula. The International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics IAGG organizes a world congress every 4 years to advance research and education on aging, and to foster cross-national collaboration in these areas.
A recent conference in Okinawa, Japan, focused heavily on the development of international gerontology curriculum, and an upcoming conference in India will include a strong gerontology education focus. Indeed, three undeniable and interrelated trends—rapid global aging and its associated opportunities and challenges, the rise in gerontology programs around the world, and the increasing internationalization of gerontology programs—speak to an international mandate for gerontology in higher education.
These three phenomena are the focus of this chapter. A brief discussion about the demographic implications of global aging sets the stage for an overview of the development of gerontology programs in different regions of the world; such programs, as responses to societal and individual aging, can support the development of culturally appropriate policies and service systems to meet needs of growing older populations and can help to prepare a work force to meet needs of aging society.
The very diversity and complexity of aging experiences around the world help to make a case for the third aspect of the international mandate for gerontology and higher education: the value of incorporating cross-national content and international educational experiences within gerontology programs.
With very rare exceptions, every nation in the world is aging, and the most rapid rate of growth in aging populations is occurring in the developing nations. The number and proportion of older people, and life expectancy, are useful measures of population aging and can be indicative of the issues that are likely to be at the forefront of public policy and resource allocation. It is safe to assume that maternal and child health issues are of much more immediate concern in Kenya, while Italy is immersed in the workforce, health care, and caregiving challenges of an aging population.
These measures of population age structure are very instructive, conveying some sense of the current challenges facing each society. But the rate at which a society is growing older is perhaps a better indication of the social changes and challenges about which gerontology education can be essential. For example, between the years of and , life expectancy for women in China increased from 42 to Over that same time frame, U.
The year gain in longevity for Chinese women, over a relatively short time period, connotes enormous, consequential, and very rapid demographic and social change. The speed of population aging—the rapidity with which a nation transforms into an aging society—has obvious corollaries in the nature and urgency of the challenges each society will face. In general, the developing world is aging much more rapidly than the developed regions. The United States underwent this transformation in 69 years. It is easy to imagine the vast array of changes that precipitate, and result from, such rapid population aging and the role played by economic and cultural forces in both causes and consequences of this dramatic demographic shift.
At a minimum, countries that age at such precipitous rates have less time to adapt to, much less anticipate, the consequences of population aging. The mandates for education about aging are certainly affected by the nature and speed of population aging, because different challenges will be of different urgency. Recent scholarship on global aging highlights the range of challenges that accompany the successes of increased longevity.
Global education about aging—which can inform policy, planning, service design, decision-making, social roles and norms, and family adaptations—is certainly one promising strategy for effectively accommodating the changing world. Global education about aging includes two related but distinct kinds of initiatives: a developing gerontology programs within many nations around the world and b teaching about global aging within gerontology programs. These two strategies for internationalizing gerontology—developing gerontology programs around the world and adding global content within programs—are discussed in the following sections.
These knowledge-building and dissemination tasks are the role of gerontology education and research. Gerontology courses and programs take different directions in different cultural contexts. Interestingly, the United States has a great many gerontology programs, but the need for trained geriatricians is increasing at a much faster pace than the number of medical students graduating with that specialization. Some efforts at gerontology education focus on adding gerontology content to professional credentials such as social work or medicine; other universities have interdisciplinary programs that emphasize research and the broad goals of liberal education; and still others focus on training a workforce.
China, which is well-immersed in developing a system of gerontology education, now offers one of the few doctoral programs outside the United States, but gerontology content in China still tends to be incorporated into the curriculum of existing disciplines and professions Wu, A complete inventory or comparative analysis of gerontology and geriatrics education programs in each nation is beyond the scope of this chapter, and there are no systematic data to support the task.
However, a few examples will help to illustrate the variation in scope, purpose, and focus of programs in different parts of the world. United States Gerontology education in the United States is well-established and widespread. The most recent national directory compiled by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education lists programs from institutions Stepp, in the United States. The opportunities include a strong national awareness of the importance of aging and a well-developed system of services and products for older adults.
In many U. To shore up the viability of gerontology education, a growing number of U. Focus on outcomes, including number of grads and job placements; importance of clear niche and clear goals for program; as well as market and feasibility studies remains crucial. Israel Responding to the challenges of an aging society, Israel developed two graduate programs in gerontology in Japan has very well-developed research infrastructures for gerontology and geriatrics, including professional societies and a growing number of scholarly journals.
But higher education in gerontology is less well-developed. There are gerontology courses at several universities at both graduate and undergraduate levels, and courses on social welfare for older people are required for social work programs. But there are currently no undergraduate programs leading to a gerontology degree. Along with a thorough description of gerontology research and education in Japan, Tsukada and Tatara provide thoughtful speculation about the slow pace of gerontology program development in a country that is so thoroughly immersed in issues of population aging.
They cite a decision-making structure that involves several major government agencies with different priorities, and the lack of a national organization comparable the AGHE in the United States to promote higher education about aging. European Union A number of countries in the European Union have formal graduate training in gerontology, including the University of Salamanca in Spain and Heidelberg University in Germany. Sometimes termed a carousel model, this program exposes students and faculty to diverse contexts and diverse approaches to the study of aging. Kenya The tremendous diversity among the many nations of the African continent make it impossible to summarize gerontology education and research efforts there, even though many African nations face similar population challenges.
The diploma program includes a rich array of gerontology courses including research methods, family and aging, population, communication with older people, health, rural aging, psychology of aging, gender and aging, and creativity and aging ; the idea for the program is very well-received among potential students and faculty and will, like any other program, depend on university resources for its implementation and success King et al. The arrangement between Kenyatta University and their U.
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Courses, workshops, and special programs for cross-national study of aging have increased in number and visibility over the past decade. Each of these strategies for teaching about the social and cultural contexts of aging has advantages, disadvantages, and variable levels of feasibility. Curriculum Infusion Incorporating global aging content into gerontology courses and developing courses on the topic of global aging are both becoming more prevalent in gerontology programs.
However, altering a curriculum in support of an international focus does require an intentional plan, faculty resources, and a rigorous approach to developing and implementing a comparative framework that is analytically sound and conceptually grounded. A recent book edited by Shenk and Groger describes several examples of course development and teaching strategies for incorporating cross-cultural perspectives into gerontology curricula. The examples in Shenk and Groger are based in a wide range of disciplines, including humanities, anthropology, sociology, social welfare, and gerontology.
This diversity speaks to the richness and broad possibilities of a comparative approach to gerontology. An anthropological approach to the comparative study of informal caregiving systems in different cultures, for example, would necessarily be different from a policy-based comparative analysis of health care systems, and would require different analytical frameworks.
Perhaps the most important message implicit in the Shenk and Groger volume is that including information about aging in different contexts is only the starting point for helping students to develop a rigorous, analytical perspective on the role of social and cultural factors in shaping the experiences of and societal responses to aging.
And the logistics of study abroad are extensive. In addition, assessing and assuring the quality of the educational program is a considerable challenges van Rijsselt et al. These issues of costs, accessibility, logistics, and quality are common to all kinds of study abroad programs. But there are different kinds of study abroad programs, each with disadvantages and advantages. Two kinds of programs for the comparative study of aging in different countries, here termed immersion and guided study, vary by length, language requirements, resource requirements, and role of home and host institution faculty.
Students typically spend at least one semester at their host institution; faculty and administration at both the sending and receiving institutions have a high level of involvement with the program. Communication between gerontology faculty at home and host institutions is essential for assuring the quality of the learning experience. Arranging for visas, housing, and transportation are a few of the logistics that require attention from program faculty and the student.
Several U. Funded by the U. Department of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, and the EU Directorate for Education and Culture, this program, called Intergero shorthand for International Interdisciplinary Program in Gerontology , well illustrates the value of exchange programs in gerontology. In spite of some occasional logistical challenges, data from students who have participated in the program have unequivocally praised the opportunity—students cite their personal growth, the depth of the substantive learning they gained, and the international network of colleagues that they developed as a result of the immersion in another culture.
Faculty who have had the exchange students in their programs have also evaluated the program very highly, citing the invaluable information and perspectives brought to the classroom by the international students. One U. For some gerontology programs, it may not be the best option for globalizing the curriculum. These programs do require a great deal of planning and coordination, often blending classroom and extramural learning.
A good partnership with at least one institution in the receiving Global Aging and Gerontology Education 57 country is necessary for smooth planning of the curriculum and the outsidethe-classroom experiences. While the immersion model emphasizes depth of cultural experience, the guided study model usually places great emphasis on breadth, sometimes building in experiences in more than one culture.
Based on data presented at meetings of the Gerontological Society of America and the AGHE, student learning outcomes from guided international study programs are very positive—a broader perspective on the role of social and cultural forces in shaping the experiences of aging and the varying approaches to the design and provision of services for older adults. There is arguably less intercultural development for students in guided study versus immersion programs. Students who show the greatest intercultural development spend moderate amounts of time with host families or host country students , and moderate amounts of time with other U.
Those who spend most of their time with other U. This eloquent description of the enormous changes we face is the foundation of the international mandate for gerontology education. In order to meet the opportunities and challenges that accompany population aging, gerontology education is essential. The growth of gerontology programs around the world, and the internationalization of gerontology programs, speak to the value of education about global aging, and to the value of cross-cultural collaborations on education and research about aging.
Speculations on the future of taught masters courses in gerontology: Lessons from a comparison of England, Scotland, Finland, and Spain. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 27 3 , 27— New York: Perseus Publishing. Carmel, S. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 27 3 , 49— Global competence and national needs. Course design on aging: Incorporating cross-cultural perspectives that challenge assumptions about assessment and service delivery.
Groger Eds. New York: Haworth Press. Guttman, G. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 27 3 , 1— Haley, W. Progress and challenges in graduate education: The U. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 27 7 , 11— King, S. Kinsella, D. Global aging: The challenge of success. Population Bulletin, 60 1. Laertius, Diogenes. Lives of eminent philosophers: Aristotle trans. Strengthening study abroad: Recommendations for effective institutional management for presidents, senior administrators, and study abroad professionals.
Why population aging matters: A global perspective. Aging education in a global context. Stepp, D. Directory of educational programs in gerontology and geriatrics 7th ed. Tsukada, N. Gerontology programs in Japanese higher education. World population ageing: — New York: Author. European initiatives in postgraduate education in gerontology. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 27 3 , 79 — Wu, B. Teaching Chinese health care professionals about community-based long-term care in China. This section opens with a chapter by Marshall B. Empathy, sensitivity, and compassion need to be cultivated, and education needs to employ them in analyzing and resolving ethical dilemmas.
Numerous approaches and resources are recommended. The next chapter is by Robert H. Analysis of current policies, history of policy development, and new approaches to social policy are central components of professional and general education. Resources for course development and course activities are presented. Examples of the evolution and consequences of gerontological research and public policy are reviewed.
Emphasis is placed on the unique needs and issues associated with each cultural group. This chapter reviews the development of ethnogerontology and ethnogeriatrics and shows how curriculum has been developed to prepare students to work with culturally diverse populations of older adults.
Resources including curriculum, modules, articles, Web sites and media are presented. Ronald J. Gerontological research supports the importance of fostering continued intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development. This includes continuing education related to both work and leisure. Global approaches to older adult learning provide many strong models.
Optimizing Exercise and Physical Activity in Older People
Exemplary programs in a variety of settings are reviewed. The older individual living in a complex modern society often confronts an array of life challenges that necessitate the invocation of professional assistance. Planning, delivering, and evaluating gerontological and geriatric care implicates a wide variety of ethical issues for various kinds of practitioners and for those who advocate for, develop, and implement the public policies within which products and services for the aged are provided.
First, this sphere implicates a distinct body of knowledge and skills; many ethical issues either are unique to older persons or, if generic in nature, affect the elderly in different ways. In general terms, cognitive knowledge of both the process of ethical reasoning and the substantive ethical principles applicable to gerontological practice is essential for the modern health care, human services, and business professional. Ethics touch all human activities, including those encompassed within gerontological practice. Stated differently, it can contribute to the humanization of aging services.
Criticisms of the dehumanizing effects on current students of the grueling, increasingly technical process of professional education abound, as do calls for educational reforms to instill the future caregiver with a greater degree of compassion and sensitivity. Such education and training should not only equip students with necessary communications skills, but also lead them to value the patient as a full participant in medical decision making.
Additionally, it can affect the totality not only of medical practice, but the provision of health care, human services, and business generally and geriatric and gerontological services particularly. There is more than idealism at play here, though. In practical terms, an understanding of the kinds of obligations and limitations that ethics place on gerontological practice provides the practitioner with a distinct pragmatic advantage in minimizing exposure to possible criminal or civil liability. Without this background, the caregiving professional is more likely to commit unknowing and avoidable violations of criminal restrictions and civil duties owed to other individuals and entities.
Thus, the ultimate goals of ethics education in the aging arena are twofold Rooksby, One goal is to create virtuous health care, human services, and business professionals who will interact ethically with and assist older persons. The second goal is to use education to provide future and present geriatric and gerontological professionals with a specialized skill set to employ in analyzing and resolving ethical dilemmas. Practicing attorneys and ethics consultants, including appropriately educated clergy or chaplains, from the surrounding community may perform a useful service by volunteering to share their time and experience in appropriate educational settings.
For all of these potential educators, the importance of enthusiastic cooperation and collaboration with actively practicing clinicians and policy makers cannot be overemphasized. Health care, human services, and business professionals understandably tend to identify with, and assign role model status to, similar professionals rather than philosophers, attorneys, or members of other, seemingly foreign professions.
To the extent that the philosopher, attorney, advocate, or other faculty member is able to enlist the visible and genuine support of respected hands-on health care, human services, and business practitioners, from within both the academic institution and the local community, in publicly discussing ethical issues arising in geriatric and gerontological care, the receptivity of the student audience to the lessons being taught will rise appreciably.
In addition, the educator needs to display an aura of responsibility, maturity, and good judgment. Students will resist educational overtures from those whom they perceive, accurately or not, as angry, self-righteous moral complainers intent only on chastising, hectoring, and demagoguery. Health care, human services, and business professionals and students are, as a general matter, rather pragmatically, tangibly oriented, and they tend to be interested in conceptual analysis only to the degree that theory can be translated directly into explicit guidelines that can be made applicable to everyday clinical practice.
Put differently, where should ethics education concerning older persons take place, and in what forms? Undergraduate premedical programs, as well as undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate educational programs in nursing, psychology, social work, the allied health professions, business, and public policy are all likely candidates for efforts to integrate ethical content regarding aging and older people. Individual medical and osteopathic schools are the most immediate target. Local, state, and in certain cases even national general and specialty medical associations that conduct meetings and sponsor conferences and programs with substantive geriatric content should also be considered prime opportunities for the productive integration of ethics teaching.
There are many forms that integration of ethical issues into the overall geriatric and gerontological curriculum might take. One choice certainly is formal instruction. This could be carried out as part of a larger core course or conducted separately on a required or an elective basis. Format could be lecture, seminar, or a combination of the two. Moreover, attention to ethical issues may be integrated into departmental case conferences, grand rounds, and special lectures either independently organized or invited as part of an already established course or meeting schedule to audiences made up—in whole or part—of students with an interest in geriatrics and gerontology.
Also, formal continuing education programs and informal brown bag lunches, scheduled regularly or irregularly at strategic sites, are examples of other possible forums to be explored. An important related pedagogical issue is that of proper timing. Even though students are given the chance to apply ethical principles and processes in carrying out their professional mandates, they will be unable, without some theoretical background instruction, to integrate the particular ethical lessons into a useful framework for practice.
Besides the detail of when ethics education should occur, there is the mundane but essential question of where it ought to take place. The physical location matters a great deal. The usual campus auditorium or classroom is often unavoidable and is quite reasonably suited to its purpose. Thus, opportunities for on-site teaching opportunities should be assiduously pursued. Such an approach inevitably tends to engender negative feelings and misperceptions about the character of both ethics and law. Instead, there must be concentration on a much broader process and value-focused presentation of the subject matter.
Otherwise, the student audience is likely to develop the attitude or, more likely the preexisting attitude will be reinforced that ethics and law are mainly an obstruction in their lives rather than a valuable source of guidance in their work. Metaethics is the subdivision centering on raising questions about conceptualizations in the domain of ethics; in other words, metaethics is the discipline that explores how we decide what is an ethical issue.
Ideology, the second branch of ethics, encompasses the ethical theories that have been systematically constructed to make judgments of right conduct and to explicitly or implicitly state beliefs that are wrong; this branch provides the criteria for a normative system that analyzes right and wrong.
This is where we move from the study, for its own sake, of ethics as a conceptual phenomenon to direct attention to actually using ethical principles to resolve questions in the practice, research, or policy settings. Each of these aspects of ethics is important, and each makes its claim upon us. Basic but recurring ethical problems should not be ignored in favor of more trendy—and often, frankly, more intellectually interesting—subjects.
Immediate, pragmatic concerns and the larger societal picture are inextricably intertwined in practice, and should be treated similarly in the educational context. Who makes the decisions for the impaired but not incompetent client or for the incompetent client with or without a guardian? Longan, First, what resources are available to support the educator involved in integrating ethical content into the geriatric and gerontological curriculum?
Then, what resources should students be assigned to study as part of this educational endeavor? For the ethics educator, the resource situation has improved markedly over the last three decades. So, too, have organizations, journals, and textbooks on aging that include at least a secondary interest in ethical and legal matters Kapp, A number of sample course syllabi in ethics and aging are publicly available Appendix B. Instead, textbooks and journal articles describing and illustrating ethical— and related legal Kapp, in preparation —and social concepts that have been created consciously and explicitly for health care and human services audiences are more likely to be willingly and usefully swallowed and digested by students and practitioners in those professions.
Moreover, ethical as well as legal and public policy issues are covered regularly and extensively in the health care and human services literature i. Direct teaching time access to students, postgraduate trainees, and practicing professionals is one of the most precious and jealously guarded commodities within the educational domain. Current departmental contestants who are already competing for that limited access often are not overly receptive to another set of actors with another set of claims on student time and attention.
Beyond the issue of time limitations, existing political powers within academic institutions may, as a matter of their own professional training or bias, be disinclined or even actively antagonistic toward geriatric and gerontological education generally or to the integration of ethical as well as legal and social issues particularly.
- Geriatric assessment;
- Serie: Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics?
- Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences.
A large-scale interprofessional campaign of information and persuasion needs to be carried out to secure adequate treatment in the allocation of scarce curriculum time and other resources and to reconcile with the key change agents in the academic political sphere. Ethical precepts and processes, in the aging arena as elsewhere, generally are consistent with common sense, sound judgment, and clinically acceptable practice. Ethics must be converted from a mysterious collection of externally announced prescriptions and proscriptions into an understandable body of sensible and humane guidelines for action.
The potential curricular content is rich and rigorous. Bioethics and humanities education—Masters and other programs. Responding to elder abuse: Interdisciplinary cooperation or leadership void? Gerontologist, 47 5 , — Dayton, A. Elder law: Readings, cases, and materials, 3rd ed. Dubler, N. Bioethics mediation: A guide to shaping shared solutions.
New York: United Hospital Fund. Elder Law Course Survey. Elder law: Cases and materials, 4th ed. Johnson, T. Handbook on ethical issues on aging. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Kapp, M. Professional development in law, health care, and aging: A model fellowship program. Gerontologist, 40 3 , — Law and aging: A selected annotated bibliography for gerontology instruction. In preparation Legal aspects of elder care.
Everyday ethics: Resolving dilemmas in nursing home life. New York: Springer Publishing Company. Longan, P. Elder law across the curriculum: Professional responsibility. Stetson Law Review, 30 4 , — McLuhan, M. The medium is the message. New York: Random House. Messikomer, C. Managing everyday ethics in assisted living: A research-based case analysis for the classroom.
Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 28 4 , 99— Moody, H. Ethics and aging: A selected annotated bibliography for gerontology instruction. Morgan, R. Introduction to symposium on elder law across the curriculum. Making health care decisions: The ethical and legal implications of informed consent in the patient-practitioner relationship. Taking care: Ethical caregiving in our aging society. Washington, DC: Author. Ethics education in medical schools: Problems, practices, and possibilities.
Quinnipiac Health Law Journal, 10, — Binstock A gerontology or geriatrics curriculum that does not include social policy is missing essential ingredients for understanding the everyday situations of older individuals and how they come about, what may pose threats to them, and—when needed—how their situations might be changed for the better through new policies. Knowledge of social policy also illuminates relationships between older people and younger generations, a variety of social institutions, and the society at large. Such observations are based on my ongoing experience in teaching social policy and aging for more than 40 years.
Their backgrounds, concentrations, and majors have been in anthropology, bioethics, economics, gerontology, health services research, history, law, management, medicine, nursing, nutrition, political science, psychology, public health, social policy, social work, and sociology. Next, I suggest a variety The author wishes to acknowledge Melissa Castora for reading a preliminary draft of this chapter and making helpful suggestions. Policy examples provided in these discussions are drawn primarily from the United States because of space considerations. However, as indicated through brief allusions to policy experiences in other countries, cross-national comparisons can be valuable in social policy education.
It can also encompass analyses of current policy proposals, development of new ideas for policies, and study of the history of policies in order to understand how and why they became what they are. But of course there are myriad other policies affecting aging and older persons at the federal and state levels, as well as the actions and inactions of municipal, county, and special district governments.
Legislative policies are only a small piece of the public policy puzzle. Among the most important private sector policies related to aging and old age are the policies of employers toward workers and retirees. Also among many policies deserving attention in the private sector are long-term care insurance and so-called Medigap insurance that provides coverage for health care expenses not covered by Medicare. As illustrated by the relationship between Medigap policies and the Medicare program, social policy education includes examination of the ways in which public and private sector policies complement and interact with each other.
Administration on Aging—need to know, at the very least, the basic ABCs of the policies that directly affect their patients and clients. Knowledge of this simple fact might have caused a geriatrician to think twice when she was making a borderline decision as to whether to hospitalize that patient. Similarly, social caseworkers need to be up-to-date on guardianship and elder-abuse laws in their states. All students in gerontology and geriatrics should have familiarity with such policy fundamentals.
But those who would be advocates, and policy analysts and researchers including those researchers who also wear hats as practitioners , should be educated regarding a far broader range of more sophisticated historical, social, economic, and political contexts and issues involved with social policy and aging. Some of these contexts will be discussed later in this chapter. Moreover, new developments in public and private sector policies related to aging are virtually continuous, requiring updates during the teaching of a course or segment of a course on aging and social policy.
For instance, every spring the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds issue an annual report regarding the current status and projected condition of the funds for the years ahead. Frequently a vote is pending in Congress on a bill related to Medicare or other old-age policies. New Supreme Court decisions often affect the rights of older workers. Keeping up with such news in the policy world is demanding but essential. Books and Journals The selection of social policy readings for gerontology and geriatric students presents several challenges. First, as outlined earlier in this chapter, the scope of potential subject matter is extremely broad.
As a consequence, no single textbook is likely to cover in reasonable depth a comprehensive range of policy subjects that a given instructor may desire. Therefore, social policy textbooks can become out-of-date rather quickly. In the interest of full disclosure, I serve as consulting editor in gerontology for the publisher of these two books, Johns Hopkins University Press.
However, in these two volumes many of the policies that a particular instructor may wish to cover are only discussed in passing e. Administration on Aging and its Aging Services Network or not mentioned at all e. So instructors who choose to use these or other textbooks will often need to turn to additional sources for reading materials. For my own part, I have never used a textbook as the centerpiece of a course. Rather, I have constructed reading lists from a variety of sources, including selected chapters from books e.
Social Policy in Gerontology and Geriatrics Education 77 Journal articles, of course, can be excellent resources. As its title indicates, one such publication is the Journal of Aging and Social Policy. Lamentably, in recent years, social policy articles have rarely been published in the peer-reviewed journals of the Gerontological Society of America—The Gerontologist and the Journals of Gerontology—or in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. However, an Internet listing of about 60 Journals on Aging Wood, includes some that do publish social policy articles from time to time.
In addition, two periodicals that organize each issue around an agingrelated theme—Generations and the Public Policy and Aging Report—often have articles that can be good choices for social policy and aging courses. Moreover, there are a number of other journals that publish excellent articles that are highly relevant to social policy and aging. Policy Research, Analyses, Issue Papers, and Breaking News In addition, there is an abundance of useful policy research, analyses, and issue papers available from free-standing think tanks, institutes, and academies.
Some of the old-age-based organizations that are among the 53 members of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations are also sources of policy documents. Foundations and university-based entities produce some excellent policy-related studies.
The Century Foundation issues occasional reports on social policy and aging. Government agencies, of course, are a rich source of studies, surveys, and information relevant to social policy and aging. Links to most of these, as well as other agencies, can be found on the Web site of the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, which also contains its own useful policy resources. Finally, it is especially useful to be on listservs that provide frequent alerts to the availability of new documents and to media stories about new and emerging policy developments.
The U. One is a weekly Current Awareness in Aging Report that typically lists and provides links to dozens of reports and articles, many of which are Social Policy in Gerontology and Geriatrics Education 79 policy relevant. It provides links to media coverage of aging-related issues, mostly through newspapers with an occasional recording , categorized by national stories and state and local stories.
Of course, the E-Clippings service may not select the same policy stories that you would.
Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Volume 28, : Harvey L. Sterns :
Visuals Many technological advances in the use of visual materials have taken place during the decades I have been teaching social policy and aging. To be sure, for many decades it has been possible to create overheads and slides. But the processes of doing so are more cumbersome than creating PowerPoint presentations which can easily be updated and revised. In addition, a set of PowerPoint slides can be made readily available to the computers of students, where they can be reviewed and studied outside of the classroom. Moreover, PowerPoint has made it possible for colleagues to readily swap slides or entire presentations for teaching purposes, and for instructors to use ready-made presentations created by government agencies and other organizations.
DVD and VHS videos used sparingly can bring to life key issue areas that have been discussed in class, or set the stage for such discussions. In , when President George W. She laid out very effectively a number of reasons why her organization strongly opposed privatization, and made alternative proposals for Social Security reform. For instance, a student can be assigned to provide written and oral testimony for a Congressional committee on policy issues and problems associated with the quality of care of older persons in nursing homes, with the instructor playing the role of the committee chair and other students or colleagues joining in as committee members.
Alternatively, a student might be asked to write a memo and meet with a U. Or a student might play the role of a prospective buyer of long-term care insurance, writing out a series of questions to ask in a face-to-face meeting with an evasive long-term care insurance salesperson the instructor. Fellow students can be asked to join the instructor in critiquing these presentations both positively and remedially.
Although the steps necessary to set up these situations well requires a substantial investment of effort by the instructor, the payoffs are excellent. First, the role-playing students learn a great deal about the assigned topic. Second, they learn something about writing for various types of audiences in different formats and contexts. Third, their abilities to think on their feet are sharpened. Social Policy in Gerontology and Geriatrics Education 81 In the remainder of this chapter, I will outline some of the selected concepts and perspectives that my students have found to be useful.
Heterogeneity, the Life-Course, and Social Structure Two elementary principles are essential to convey in teaching social policy and in most other aspects of gerontology and geriatrics education. One, simply put, is: older persons are heterogeneous. The other is: the full life-course and a great many socially structured impacts upon it including the impacts of social policy play a major role in shaping older people and their heterogeneity.
When a particular birth cohort is young, it is highly diverse in personal characteristics. Some of these characteristics—such as gender, race, and ethnicity—remain unchanged throughout the life-course. Yet others can change markedly throughout a lifetime. For instance, differences in socioeconomic status, education, health, access to health care, and other inequalities within a cohort when it is young can be accentuated over time.
Sociologist Dale Dannefer attributes this phenomenon to life-course processes he terms cumulative advantage and cumulative disadvantage. For those who are disadvantaged in youth, the opportunities for improvement are more limited than they are for the more advantaged. And over time the effects of such limitations and opportunities can be cumulative, widening the initial gaps. With this perspective it is clear why members of racial minorities in the United States—many of whom are employed in such jobs—are comparatively very poor in old age.
Similar situations prevail with respect to employer-sponsored pensions. In addition, high earners can afford to make greater employee contributions to their plans than their lower-earning fellow workers. In addition to retirement income, there are many other arenas in which social and economic differences within a cohort when it is young, combined with socially structured impacts during the life-course, account for heterogeneity of characteristics in old age. For instance, excellent health or disease and disability at younger ages—as well as differences in access to health care and new medical advances at various stages of the life-course—can have much to do with health and broader life circumstances at older ages.
These are but a few examples of life-course topics that can help students understand the many dimensions of heterogeneity among older people and identify interesting and important research questions to pursue. Many points can be made, of course, regarding how race, ethnicity, gender, economic and social status, and other characteristics play out differently through the life course into old age. Policy Shapes Social Norms Another basic principle is that social policy sets age norms throughout the lifecourse such as appropriate ages for attending school, driving, voting, making legal contracts, and so on.
Indeed, Aristotle advised that, "Education is the best provision for old age" Laertius, This statement is advice for those who would have a fulfilling old age: a rich intellectual life is a valuable provision to carry on the journey to old age. But, we can generalize Aristotle's advice to suggest that education about aging is essential for thoughtful and effective societal responses to aging.
To meet the need for a population educated about aging and to be better able to design policies and programs to address an aging society, academic programs in gerontology are being developed around the world. Paralleling the unprecedented number of nations seeing growth in gerontology education is an increased value placed on global and comparative perspectives within education about aging.
Gerontology programs are increasingly adding global content to their courses, and more programs than even are adding international study programs to their curricula. The prominence of international aging in the field of gerontology is reflected in the fact that two of the premier national U. The International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics IAGG organizes a world congress every 4 years to advance research and education on aging, and to foster cross-national collaboration in these areas. A recent conference in Okinawa, Japan, focused heavily on the development of international gerontology curriculum, and an upcoming conference in India will include a strong gerontology education focus.
Reviews research on the physiological and psychological differences between aging men and women, including gender discrepancies in psychopathology. Lassonde, K. Using the contradiction paradigm to assess ageism. Journal of Aging Studies, 26 2 , This article describes the use of the contradiction paradigm, an implicit measure, to assess age-related stereotypes in passages describing older adults. LeBlanc, L. Behavioral gerontology.
Fisher, C. Roane Eds. Reviews the literature on the use of behavior analysis and therapy to increase the well-being of older adults. The authors suggest that advantages of this approach include avoidance of ageism, focus on environmental factors that promote or suppress behavior, belief in the potential reversibility of decline, and cost-effectiveness and consistency in treatment approach.
Basic research, clinical application, and organizational application are addressed. Lin, X. Measures for assessing student attitudes toward older people. Educational Gerontology, 37 1 , Marin, M. Mexican American elderly: Self-reported anxiety and the mediating influence of family protective factors.
The Family Journal, 19 1 , This study investigated the relationship between life satisfaction and protective factors that contribute to family resilience for Mexican American elderly who self-report anxiety. ODonoghue, M. Depression and ageing: Assessment and intervention. Ryan, P. Coughlan Eds. New York, NY: Routledge. Discusses the prevalence, manifestations, assessment, and treatment of depression in older adults. Palmore, E. The international handbook on aging. Abingdon, UK: Praeger. Leading experts in the field of aging discuss psychological issues such as depression among older adults and social issues such as how individuals and public policies will deal with the changing shape of the family.
Qualls, S. Aging families and caregiving. This guide addresses the complex issues that arise in working with family caregivers including integration of families into long-term care mental health services and clinical services for families taking care of an older person. Includes clinical illustrations, guidance, and tips for practice. Schaie, K. Ageist language in psychological research. American Psychologist, 48 , 49— Sorrell, J. Meeting the mental health needs of the aging veteran population: A challenge for the 21st century.
Sterns, H. Annual review of gerontology and geriatrics, Vol. Gerontological and geriatric education. New York, NY: Springer. This volume discusses the history of gerontology and geriatric medicine, educational issues with older adults, and recommendations for curriculum design for aging related courses. Prominent figures in the field of aging serve as authors of this valuable text for educators and students. Torres, S. Cross-cultural differences in ageing.
In Stuart-Hamilton I. This chapter provides an introduction to cross-cultural differences in aging and discusses challenges in conducting research on aging and culture. Walsh, C. Elder abuse and oppression: Voices of marginalized elders. This article describes findings from focus group discussions on elder abuse held by marginalized older adults. The authors conclude that susceptibility to elder abuse increases as a consequence of ageism, sexism, disability, racism, heterosexism, classism, and various intersecting types of oppression.
Whitfield, K. Health disparities, social class, and aging. This chapter reviews the literature on health disparities, social class, and aging, drawing from a variety of perspectives, including medical, biomedical, sociology, public health, and humanities. These handbooks contain cutting-edge review chapters on the most important topics in gerontology.
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Be a part of the solution Includes 5 articles that provide practical information and instructor and student resources: Whitbourne, S. Employing interactive learning methods in a course on the psychology of aging. Strategies and resources for teaching family gerontology. Teaching of Psychology, 26 , 50— Integrating the humanities into a liberal arts course on adult development and aging.
Teaching of Psychology, 26 , 51— McGuire, L. Tying it together: Two comprehensive projects for adult development and aging courses. Teaching of Psychology, 26 , 53— Fingerman, K. Approaches to teaching adult development and aging within a life span development course.
Related Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Volume 28, 2008: Gerontological and Geriatric Education
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