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Online · School of Behavioral Sciences · Community Care and Counseling

Gerontology and Counseling
PACO-630

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

This course introduces students with the issues and problems unique to the elderly in American society. Topics such as grief and loss, suffering, societal attitude, and family structure are examined.

Requisites

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

The increasing percentage of elderly in the population of the United States will require an increasing provision for their counseling needs. To offer effective counseling for the elderly, those working with them in many life areas must know the physiological, psychological, social, and spiritual factors that are significant in aging.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Relate the AAPC (American Association of Pastoral Counselors) and AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors) Codes of Ethics to practice with elderly populations.
  2. Appraise research in gerontology in order to provide a foundation for understanding the physical processes, cognition, and personality factors that characterize the elderly.
  3. Interpret the uniqueness of death, dying, and bereavement for each individual in terms of relationship, manner of death, complicating emotions, age, circumstances, etc.
  4. Evaluate cultural and historical changes and attitudes toward dying through selected readings, films, and discussions.
  5. Predict factors of social relationships associated with the aging process.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchases

Robnett, R. H., & Chop, W. C. (2020). Gerontology for the health care professional (4th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett. ISBN: 9781284140569.

Wright, H. N. (2006). Recovering from losses in life. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell. ISBN: 9780800731557.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with that required by state licensing boards in the class subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Recommended Resources

American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (Current ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Compton, M. T., & Kotwicki, R. J. (2007). Responding to individuals with mental illnesses. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers. ISBN: 9780763741105.

Floyd, S. (2008). Crisis counseling: A guide for pastors and professionals. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic & Professional. ISBN: 9780825425882.

Wright, H. N. (2012). The complete guide to crisis & trauma counseling: What to do and say when it matters most! (Revised ed.).Ventura, CA: Regal Books. (Gospel Light) ISBN: 9780764216343.

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Office

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 300–400 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and reference at least 2 sources in current APA format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 other classmates’ thread. Each reply must be 200–250 words.

Elder Connection Selection

The student will write a 450–500-word explanation on the elder he or she plans to observe for the Elder Connection Analysis.

Movie Critique Assignment

The student will view 3 death or loss-related movies and complete a 2–3-page critique for each. While no title page or abstract is necessary, the student must include a reference page that contains the movie information as well as any other cited references.

Loss/Death Paper

The student will develop a 2000-word or less (4–5-page) current APA/Turabian style paper that will review all personal experiences with loss and death during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

Lossography/Deathography Graph

Using the information from his or her Loss/Death Paper, the student will construct a loss-history graph (similar to a genogram) that represents the loss events in his or her life.

PowerPoint

The student will construct a PowerPoint presentation with a minimum of 40 slides on one of the major aging, death, or loss aspects covered in this course.

Elder Connection Analysis

The student will spend at least 10 hours with the elderly (over 75 years of age) either in a one-on-one relationship (family or acquaintance) or by attending a local support group for the same age group. The student will write out his or her experience, including a breakdown of the hours spent, in a 2–3-page report. The report must emphasize what he or she has learned about the elderly and their social interaction, as well as the general content of their average daily routine.

End-of-Life Planning Project

The student will complete a cost estimate for a funeral or memorial service, write a will, and write a eulogy or poem to be read at the service. The project must include at least 2 references in current APA format, including the textbook, the Bible, and scholarly articles.

Code of Ethics Exam

The student will complete an exam which covers the Code of Ethics of the AAPC and AACC. The exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 45-minute time limit.

Content Exams (3)

The student will complete 3 exams that cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned modules/weeks. The exams will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 1-hour time limit.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Discussion Board Forums (2 at 50 pts ea)

100

Elder Connection Selection

25

Movie Critique Assignment

100

Loss/Death Paper

100

Lossography/Deathography Graph

100

PowerPoint

150

Elder Connection Analysis

75

End-of-Life Planning Project

150

Code of Ethics Exam

50

Content Exams (3 at 50 pts ea)

150

Total

1010

Policies

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

PACO 630

Textbooks: Robnett et al., Gerontology for the Health Care Professional (2020).

Wright, Recovering from Losses in Life (2006).

Module/Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Robnett et al.: chs. 1–3

1 presentation

1 video

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

DB Forum 1

10

0

50

2

Robnett et al.: chs. 4-6

2 presentations

2 websites

Elder Connection Selection

Code of Ethics Exam

25

50

3

Robnett et al.: chs. 7-9

1 presentation

1 video

Movie Critique Assignment

Exam 1

100

50

4

Robnett et al.: chs. 10-12

1 presentation

1 video

Loss/Death Paper

100

5

Robnett et al.: chs. 13-14

1 presentation

Lossography/Deathography Graph Exam 2

100

50

6

Wright: chs. 1–4

Bible Readings

1 presentation

DB Forum 2

PowerPoint

50

150

7

Wright: chs. 5–8

1 presentation

Elder Connection Analysis

End of Life Planning Project

75

150

8

Wright: chs. 9–11

1 presentation

Exam 3

50

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course module/week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.