Distance Learning Course in Aged Care
Learn to understand and help the Elderly
Learn counselling skills for helping people cope with changes and problems that arise with age
Discover the scope and nature of opportunities to work in aged care services
Course Duration: 100 hours
There are nine lessons in this module as follows:
1. Understanding Ageing
Gerontology, What do we mean by Ageing? Population Ageing, The Effects of the Ageing Population, Theories of Human Development, Erikson’s Theory of Development, Levinson , Theories of Retirement, Disengagement Theory, Activity Theory, Atchley’s Model of Retirement
2. Lifestyle Changes
Relationships, Relationships with Children, Relationships with Partners (Husband/wife), Relationships with Grandchildren, Friendships, Sexuality and Older People, Cognitive Changes, Intelligence, Depression, Determining Type of Depression, Unipolar Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Causes of Depression, Risk factors for Depression, Men and Depression, Depression in Older People, Symptoms
3. Deterioration of Health
Physical Changes –Skin, Hair, Height, Senses, Reflexes, Sex, Eyes,Chronic Health Problems, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout, etc. Exercise, Diet, Nutrition, Eating habits, etc. Pain relief, Medication, Stress.
4. Support Services
Preventative Services, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Complimentary Practitioners, Counselling Professionals, Other Support Services (eg. Meals on Wheels, Funeral Services)
5. Enablement Techniques
Common Risks for Elderly: Risk of Falling, Vision, Hearing, Nutrition, Sexuality. Techniques to maintain Quality of Life: Driving a car, banking, shopping, house cleaning, Gardening, Socialising, Pets, Exercise, Sport
6. Grief and Loss Counselling
What is grief, Psychological aspects of Long Term Grief: Family, Work, Financial, Loneliness, Morality after bereavement, Counsellors Response and Intervention, Practical Intervention, Depression
7. Debilitating and Terminal Illness
Dementia, Kinds of Dementia (Alzheimers, Vascular Dementia); Stratewgies for Counselling the Demented Client; Communication, Daily Activities, Sleeping Difficulties, Hallucinations and Delusions, Wandering, Depression, Terminal Illness: Patients Response, Anxiety, Depression, Guilt & Anger, Defense Mechanisms. Preparing for Approaching Death; Practical Preparations, Emotional Responses, Responses of Friends and Family
8. Losing a Loved One
Importance of Loss, Assessment, Role of the Deceased, Death of a Child, Stigmatised Death, Co-Morbidity. Counselling Strategies: Bibliotherapy, Use of Rituals, Bereavement Support Groups. Special Therapeutic Situations: Traumatic, Sudden, and Stigmatised Loss, Ongoing Support, Social Stigmas of Suicide
9. Ethics and Intervention
Barriers to Aged Care Counselling, Addressing the Client’s Needs, COMMON LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN AGED CARE: Decision Making Capacity, Competence, Informed Consent, Confidentiality, Euthanasia, etc
- To discuss theories of ageing, and to develop an understanding of the different stages of human development.
- To describe the psychological impact of changes which occur as a person reaches old age
- To understand the effect of physical health problems on older people.
- Describe the nature and scope of support services, including counselling, for the elderly.
- Describe a range of solutions that can enable an elderly person to adapt to changed circumstances in order to continue performing tasks or pursuing interests that are becoming increasingly difficult for them.
- Explain how a variety of counselling techniques can be applied to specific Grief and loss situations for counselling elderly persons.
- Develop a strategy for counselling an elderly person who has been diagnosed with a debilitating or terminal illness.
- Develop a strategy for counselling an elderly person who has lost a loved one.
- Determine when and how to intervene in the life of an elderly person
Extract from Course Notes:
Some Examples of Professionals Involved in Supporting Older People
Occupational therapists help people to find ways to remain independent despite any physical difficulties. They will give practical advice on how to cope with everyday tasks such as cooking, dressing, washing. They can also provide special equipment to help and tell older people where they can find the equipment. They will also make splints to support and protect joints in those affected in a severe way by arthritis. They can also offer advice on –
- Health benefits
- Ways to get around
- How to look after vulnerable joints
- Leisure activities
- Making their home more accessible
- Aids and adaptations
An older person will usually be referred to an occupational therapist by their doctor. The occupational therapist may visit the person’s house to see how it can be altered to suit the person better.
Physiotherapists specialise in human movement with the aim of keeping the person active and free of pain. They are usually based in hospitals. They can provide a range of services such as –
- Hydrotherapy – exercise sessions in heated water that can help to lessen pain and improve mobility.
- Advice on how to minimise the impact of conditions, such as arthritis on a person’s lifestyle and work.
- Pain relieving treatments, such as –
Physiotherapists can also help
- design special exercise programmes to mobilise their joints, strengthen their muscles
- show the person relaxation techniques to reduce stress and muscle tension – which can help worsen conditions such as arthritis.
Older people may sometimes seek complementary practitioners to help with their physical and emotional changes. Before seeking a complementary practitioner, it is important to ensure that –
- The advice of their doctor is sought.
- The practitioner is reliable. Do they belong to an organisation that sets standards?
- Are they experienced in working with older people?
- Are they experienced in working with people with the condition with which they are suffering?
- Does the treatment interfere with their medication?
- How much does it cost?
- How many sessions are required before the benefits are felt?
- Do they feel comfortable with the person?
- Ask for credentials.
- Do not be encouraged to believe in miracle cures.
- Do not stop taking medication or stop any other treatments.
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