The field of gerontology has changed so much over the last few decades. And with population trends shifting toward an increase of older people, the study of aging has become more important than ever.
In many countries around the world, we’re seeing the percentage of seniors rise dramatically. According to the World Health Organization, nearly two billion people across the world are expected to be over 60 years old by 2050—a figure that has more than tripled since 2000.
People are living longer. But longer lives are not necessarily healthier lives. Seniors need specific kinds of care and support to ensure good quality of life. With public health care systems stretched to the limit, and shortages of people with gerontology training, we’re facing serious challenges in this area.
The problem hits very close to home for many of us. We all have aging family members who need—or will need—special care. And we all want reassurance that as we ourselves get older, there will be compassionate, skilled professionals available to help us live as safely and independently as possible.
Do you work with seniors? Want to know more about the aging process, challenges facing today’s seniors, and practical methods for ensuring safe, effective care?
This is what we strive to teach students in our online gerontology course. In this post, we introduce the instructor, explain which topics and skills we cover, and who the training is geared toward.
Here’s what you can expect in class.
Meet the Teacher: Rose Ceci
Rose Ceci is a certified psychiatric mental health nurse with the Canadian Mental Health Association. She has been working in health care for over 18 years, providing medical and mental health services to people of all ages, from adolescents to seniors.
Rose is currently a Nurse Clinician at Humber River Hospital, providing mental health assessments, consultation, and staff coaching. This is where she gains first-hand experience with the challenges facing seniors and the health care professionals who care for them.
“I see seniors who are struggling with mental health as it relates to declining health and cognitive functioning. Unfortunately, I tend to see seniors at a time when they are struggling with their health and unwell. But I am humbled each time I have the opportunity to speak with a senior, because it continues to remind me that there is a person behind the illness and the age. Each individual is unique, with a rich history of stories and experiences that in most cases, they are happy to share.”
In addition to her many years of professional experience, Rose is a talented, caring instructor. Her primary goal? To share her knowledge with others, particularly those who work with (or strive work with) seniors in the health care system.
Instructor Rose Ceci has a Master's degree in nursing and is a certified psychiatric mental health nurse with the Canadian Mental Health Association. She teaches the online Gerontology Certificate at Kompass Professional Development.
Who is the online gerontology course for?
Unsurprisingly, it’s mostly health care professionals who take the online gerontology course at Kompass. Specifically, nurses who work with elderly patients, and people who provide care in long-term care facilities and in private homes.
But Rose says she’s worked with students from backgrounds outside of health care, too. Such as people who are caring for their own aging family members, and professionals from other industries (hospitality and tourism, for example) whose customers are often seniors.
“The target audience for this program is people who work in the field, including PSWs, nurses, and those who work in nursing homes. Most of my students are RN's who work with seniors. But I’ve also had participants looking for general knowledge on aging, or people from outside the health care industry, who happen to work closely with seniors.”
Key Skills Taught in Class
The online gerontology course covers a range of theory, practical knowledge, and relevant health care policy issues. It’s a 12-week certificate, but students can extend the training up to 6 months, if they need more time to complete the coursework.
There are 5 main topics of study:
1. The Aging Process
2. Cognitive Issues in Aging
3. Ethical and Legal Aspects of Aging
4. Health Promotion for Seniors
5. Community Resources and Social Policy
Students study the physical and psycho-social impacts of aging; common mental health issues among seniors; how to prevent and report elder abuse; how to promote optimal health, and much more.
Rose says the biggest takeaway for students is a deeper, more sophisticated understanding of senior health.
“Our mission is to help students gain a better overall understanding of the aging process. I'd say the most important concept students learn is that aging doesn't just mean ‘getting old’ and planning for death. There are so many layers and dimensions to consider. We look at healthy sexuality and issues with sexual orientation, cognitive conditions, quality of life, emotional and psychological factors, legal issues, and many other key aspects of aging.”
How does the online format work?
Students who take the online gerontology course can watch pre-recorded lectures, and do assignments, at their own pace.
The training is designed to offer maximum flexibility to working, busy professionals. The instructor, Rose, is always available for support via email—and there are frequent online discussions for students to share questions and discuss ideas.
It takes dedication to stay on track and complete the whole certificate, but the interactive element helps keep everyone engaged and motivated.
The admission requirement for the course is a post-secondary degree/diploma—or relevant professional experience in health care.
Is this Gerontology Course right for you?
If you would like to learn more about the course, instructor, or online learning format, it’s easy to get in touch. Start by clicking below to browse the training in more detail. See course descriptions, more information on Rose Ceci, tuition prices, and any available special discounts.
There are also Admissions Advisors standing by via online chat to answer your questions about enrollment, when the next course begins, and more. Find out if online gerontology training is right for you. We’re here to help!