Print Version

Effective: Summer 2013

Advisory: Advisory: Not open to students with credit in GERN 50.
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
3 hours lecture. (36 hours total per quarter)

Description -
Introduction to the field of gerontology, the study of aging. It includes an examination of the history of the field and major theories in social gerontology. Explores myths and stereotypes of aging, demography of elders in the United States, patterns of work and retirement, family structures and issues, financial resources, housing options, ethnic and cultural diversity among elders, and federal policies affecting older Americans.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Identify the size of the populations of older adults in the nation and state
  2. Describe the historical trends in retirement in the U.S.
  3. List and explain the options for financial resources for older Americans
  4. Define HUD, CCRC, AAA, SNF and RCFE
  5. Describe the types and sources of elder abuse
  6. Become familiar with aging social policies
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Classroom capable of multi media teaching: power points, DVDs etc.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Introduction to Gerontology
    1. History of the field of Gerontology
    2. Major theories in social gerontology
    3. Myths and stereotypes of aging
  2. Demography of elders in the United States
    1. Size and composition of the older American population
    2. Ethnic diversity
  3. Work, retirement and financial security
    1. Older workers
    2. Retirement trends and adjustments
    3. Assets and income
      1. Ranges and patterns of retirement, older worker issues and volunteerism
      2. Poverty trends and Supplemental Security Income
      3. Social Security system
  4. Patterns of family relationships and social support
    1. Marriage, divorce and widowhood
    2. Intergenerational patterns of interaction
    3. Family caregiving
      1. Caring for older parents
      2. Caring for spouses
      3. Caring for grandchildren
      4. Caring for other relatives
    4. Cultural patterns
    5. Friendship and other social networks
  5. Housing patterns and options
    1. Intergenerational housing trends over time and in diverse populations
    2. Aging in place
    3. Independent Living Senior Housing
      1. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsidized independent living
    4. Continuum of Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
    5. Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFEs)
      1. Assisted Living
      2. Board and Care homes
    6. Nursing homes
  6. Legal issues
    1. Elder abuse
    2. Fraud
  7. Community services for elders
    1. Older Americans Act and Older Californians Act
    2. Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and AAA funded services
    3. Case management services
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Participation in class discussions
  2. Performance on tests and quizzes to measure achievement of course objectives. Two tests (one at midterm and one final)
  3. Completion of individual final paper/project. Each student must complete a five page essay paper on micro or macro aspect of aging.
Representative Text(s) -
Hooyman, N. and Kiyak, H.A. Social Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Perspective, Boston: Allyn & Bacon. 2011.

Disciplines -

Method of Instruction -
Group Discussion
Multi Media (power points and DVDs)
Community based projects (informational interviews and site visits)
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
Textbook (see above)
Journal Articles (handouts in class and links on line)
Informational interviews in the community (as necessary for completion of the final paper)