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Online Geriatric Health Courses
The following is a sample of some commonly offered online coursework in geriatric health.
- The Aging Process: This course provides in-depth study on normal aging while helping students identify acute and chronic conditions encountered in the elderly.
- Ethical Issues in Geriatrics: Students learn about conflicts between patients and family caregivers and the roles of organizations and individuals. A review of complex problems, such as elder abuse, and advanced directives provide insight into the multi-layered issues of geriatric health care.
- Nutrition: Students are taught how age-related conditions and chronic diseases affect nutritional requirements. Screening and assessment tools are also addressed.
- Screening for the Geriatric Population: Enrollees receive information on a variety of screening programs for older patients, such as screening for lipid and thyroid disorders, diabetes and osteoporosis. Barriers to screenings are also covered.
- Age-Related Diseases: In this course, students will gain an understanding of common illnesses and conditions that arise in elderly patients. Students will gain the ability to diagnose various diseases as well as lifestyle factors that may have contributed to their onset.
- Women and Aging: This course focuses specifically on how gender roles and social constructs relate to the aging process for women. Students explore how race, culture, family, religion, politics, socioeconomic status and health affect women as they grow older.
- Death and Dying: In this course, students explore the psychological and cultural factors that affect how elderly people deal with death and dying. The psychological effects of terminal illness are also covered.
Some distance learning classes in geriatric health are taken as part of a Master of Science in Geriatric Health or Professional Certificate in Geriatric Health Management program. Many four-year universities and colleges offer geriatric health coursework online. Most options are at the graduate level and require students to have previously earned a bachelor's degree, but some schools offer relevant associate's degree and undergraduate diploma programs. Online graduate certificates and master's programs may require applicants to have professional experience working with the elderly or in healthcare. Some programs that are focused on direct medical care, such as geriatric nursing, require students to be licensed healthcare professionals.
Continuing education courses offered through distance learning may not have as strict admission requirements and offer a more self-paced format. That said, these typically do not offer college credit but rather continuing education units (CEUs).
Individuals who are interested in studying the physical and mental health of geriatric patients can find many relevant courses in online formats as part of graduate programs or continuing education requirements for healthcare providers.