Print Version

Effective: Summer 2013

Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
3 hours lecture. (36 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Students will shift their attitudinal focus towards strengths and benefits instead of deficits when relating to elder persons.
  • Students will demonstrate three health promotion exercises for aging family members.
  • Students uses the vocabulary of chronic illness when assisting aging family members at the doctor or hospital
Description -
An introduction to normal physical changes in older adults without significant disability, common diseases and disabilities that occur in old age, health promotion/disease prevention strategies, and health care policies and practices.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. List normal physical changes that tend to occur in older ages.
  2. Describe causes and methods of decreasing risk for four chronic disabilities that occur frequently in older adults.
  3. Explain the difference in approach between geriatric health care and acute care.
  4. Describe the Medicare, MediCal (Medicaid) and MediGap programs in terms of eligibility, coverage of services, and resources for assistance with health insurance.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Multimedia classroom.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Normal physical changes that tend to occur in older ages in the absence of disease
    1. Large range in rate and extent of changes
    2. Theories of physical aging
      1. Theories of causes
      2. Compression of morbidity hypothesis
    3. Overall change in speed of response
    4. Changes by systems:
      1. Skin and hair
      2. Vision and hearing
      3. Cardiovascular system
      4. Bones, joints, muscles and fat
      5. Gastrointestinal and genito-urinary syatem
      6. Brain and neurosensory system
      7. Sleep patterns
  2. Common chronic diseases and disability in older ages, methods of risk reduction, and management strategies:
    1. Arthritis
    2. Osteoporosis
    3. Dementia
    4. Parkinson's disease
    5. Diabetes
    6. Congestive heart failure
    7. Macular degeneration, cataracts & glaucoma
    8. Other as requested by students
  3. Geriatric Health Care
    1. Emphasis on maximizing function in the context of chronic disease rather than curing disease
      1. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
      2. Instumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)
    2. Multidisciplinary focus
    3. Importance of working with family and other informal caregivers
    4. Ethnogeriatric care - issues in caring for elders from ethnically diverse populations
    5. Settings for geriatric care:
      1. Outpatient care
      2. Acute care hospital
      3. Adult day health care
      4. Home care
      5. Assisted living
      6. Nursing home
      7. Hospice
    6. Financing mechanisms, eligibility, and coverage of services:
      1. Medicare
      2. MediCal (Medicaid)
      3. MediGap
      4. Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP)
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Participation in discussion
  2. Performance on tests and quizzes to measure achievement of course objectives
  3. Completion of individual project
Representative Text(s) -
Ferrini A. and Ferrini R. Health in the Later Years. Fifth Edition. New York, NY. McGraw-Hill, 2013.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture
  2. Multimedia
  3. Medical/clinical informational interview project
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Weekly reading assignments from text, averaging 35 pages.
  2. Read, interpret, and evaluate chapter topics for a more in-depth study and class presentation.
  3. Weekly completion of one activity related to text chapter involving reflection, critical thinking, evaluation and/or interview.
  4. Research, plan and present comprehensive final project.