Geriatric care (elder care) courses can be found in graduate-level geriatric care manager degree and certificate programs and in geriatric care specialist programs for nurses and nursing assistants. Some certificate programs are available for distance learning education. Prior experience in the field may be a prerequisite for enrollment. Another option to learn how to care for the elderly is through a geriatric aide certificate program, which may have certain admissions requirements such as being 18 years old and having current immunizations.
Courses geared towards geriatric care managers are designed to prepare students for the Certified Geriatric Care Manager exam. Geriatric nurse's courses provide specialized training for caring for aging patients.
Here are some main concepts taught in geriatric care training programs:
- Basics of gerontology
- Geriatric care management
- Communications in geriatric care
- Medical law in gerontology
- Handling multiple prescriptions
- Dementia care
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List of Courses in Geriatric Care Management
Gerontology and Geriatric Care Resources
The field of gerontology studies how people age. Geriatrics is the study of medical problems related to the aging process. Geriatric care management students need to understand the basics of gerontology and geriatrics before embarking on a career of managing care for elderly. This introductory course provides an overview of the biology, sociology and psychology of aging and the resources available to the aged. The responsibilities of geriatric care providers are discussed.
Introduction to Geriatric Care Management
In this course, students learn to create a geriatric care management plan for elderly clients. Using interviewing and observation skills to assess an elderly client's mental health, physical health and social ability are covered in this course. Analyzing gathered information to create a plan for geriatric care is emphasized. The need for monitoring geriatric clients and reassessment of the geriatric care plan is discussed.
Communication and Geriatric Care
This course focuses on communication issues of geriatric clients. Topics generally include the role of communication in loneliness, reminiscence, intimacy and general geriatric care. Instructors of these geriatric care courses also discuss attitudes toward aging, relationship factors, leisure and retirement factors and mass media representations of the elderly. This course would generally be taken after the introductory courses.
Legal Issues in Geriatric Care Management
Legal issues that arise when creating care management plans for the health and welfare of senior citizens are discussed in this advanced course. Financing long-term care, advanced directives, power of attorney and determination of mental competence to make decisions, are all legal issues that must be taken into account when creating a geriatric care plan. In addition, geriatric care managers learn legal issues of building their own geriatric care management business.
List of Courses in Geriatric Care Nursing
Elderly Patient Care
This introductory course is designed for student nurses who have completed basic nursing courses and want to specialize in geriatric care. The aging process, with emphasis on progressive mental and physical capacity changes, is discussed. Students review nursing care techniques for working with elderly patients.
Caring for Patients with Dementia
In this geriatric nurse's course, students learn techniques for caring for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Patients and caregiver's safety is emphasized. Strategies and challenges of communicating with clients with dementia are discussed.
Polypharmacy and the Geriatric Patient
Older patients are likely to have multiple prescriptions. Geriatric care nurses, nurse practitioners and technicians study common geriatric ailments and commonly prescribed drugs for geriatric patients. Topics covered in this advanced course include the risk of overdose and drug interactions.
Pharmacotherapeutics for Seniors
Geriatric care nursing includes administering prescribed drugs for therapeutic use. Nursing students study drugs used for this purpose and methods of drug administration, such as intravenous, oral or injection. Nursing students would probably take this course towards the end of their programs.