Of Windsor Faculty of Nursing 03-63-245 Health Issues In Gerontology

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University of Windsor

Faculty of Nursing

Health Issues In Gerontology

FALL 2005

Dillon Hall Room 361
M. Bilek

e-mail: mbilek@wrh.on.ca


Health Issues in Gerontology

Course Description:

This course is designed to focus on health issues resulting from age-related changes in human functioning. It will include a study of the aging process, epidemiology of aging, as well as health and social policies relevant to the aging population. Disease processes, particularly prevalent in elderly persons and related therapeutic measures will also be discussed. (3 lecture hours).

Overall Objective:

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to analyze selected health issues and their impact on both the elderly and their caregivers (C4).

Contributing Objectives:

At the completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1. describe the aging process (C2).

2. discuss the epidemiology of aging (C2).

3. discuss the sociopolitical, economic and cultural components of aging and health (C2)

4. analyze health and social policies relevant to the aging population (C4).

5. explain select biopsychosocial disease processes and their impact on the elderly population (C2).

6. discuss therapeutic measures that enhance the health status of the elderly population (C2).

7. analyze the impact of health issues on the quality of life of the elderly population (C4).
Required Textbook:

Aldwin, C. & Gilmer, D. (2004) Health, illness, and optimal aging: biological and psychosocial perspectives. Thousand Oaks: Sage


Gee, E. & Gutman, G., ed. (2000) The overselling of population aging: apocalyptic demography, intergenerational challenges, and social policy. Canada:Oxford

Readings will be assigned from:

Ebersol, P. & Hess, P. (2000) Toward healthy aging:human needs and nursing response (5th ed) . St. Louis: Mosby

Government of Canada

Ministry of Health and Long Term Care

In addition, the student is expected to refer to published literature and research articles as required. The following are examples of relevant journals.
American Journal of Public Health

Archives of General Psychiatry

Canadian Journal of Aging

Clinical Gerontologist

Developmental Psychology

Drugs & Aging

Geriatric Nursing

Geriatric Medicine


International Journal of Aging and Human Development

Journal of Aging & Health

Journal of American Geriatric Society

Journal of Gerontology

Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Course Expectations:

Students are expected to prepare for class and class discussion by completing required and related readings. (Note you will be directed to the essential readings in your course text)

Mark Allocation:

Test #1 - 25% - October 20, 2005

Term Paper - 50% - November 17, 2005

Test 2 - 25% - December 15, 2005 @ 7:00 PM

1. Students missing tests, without informing the professor or without valid reason, will not be permitted to write the test at a later date.
2. Late submission of papers, without professor's consent, will result in 5% per day deduction. After five days, the paper will receive zero.
3. Anyone demonstrating dishonesty, cheating or unethical behaviour in relation to any aspect of 63-245 will receive an F grade.
4. The use of recording devices is not allowed without permission of the professor.
5. Please consult professor for any questions, assistance or guidance you require.

Course Schedule




Sept. 8/05

Introduction and Course Expectations

Age Related Changes

Ebersole & Hess Ch. 4

Sept. 15/05

Epidemiology of Aging


Health Economics

Social Policy

Aldwin & Gilmer Ch. 2 & 3

Gee & Gutman Ch. 1

Internet materials

-Government of Canada

-Ontario Ministry of Health

Sept. 22/05

Health Priorities

Health Care

Primary Health Care, Health Promotion

Environments to Support Healthy Aging

Aldwin & Gilmer Ch. 8

Gee & Gutman Ch. 2

Sept. 29/05

Optimal Aging/Wellness

Older Adults’ View

Issues Affecting Health

Aldwin & Gilmer Ch. 12

Oct. 6/05

Environmental Safety

Community Living


Ebersole & Hess Ch. 13

Oct. 13/05

Social Support

Intergenerational Caregiving

Elder Abuse
Assignment - Part 1 due

Aldwin & Gilmer Ch. 11

Gee & Gutman Ch. 4

Oct. 20/05

Physical/Mental Health Interface

Stress & Coping
Test #1

Aldwin & Gilmer Ch. 9,10

Oct. 27/05


Relocation Anxiety

Learned Helplessness

Ebersole & Hess Ch. 18

Nov. 3/05

Ethnicity and Aging

Women and Aging

Aldwin & Gilmer Ch. 2

Ebersole & Hess Ch. 24

Nov. 10/05

Disease Related Processes

Aldwin & Gilmer Ch.5,6,7

Nov. 17/05

Ethical/Legal Issues

-Use of Restraint( physical & chemical)

-Advanced directives
Term Paper Due

Nov. 24/05

Dec. 1/05

Common Abnormalities

Pt. Priorities


Health Care Providers

Aldwin & Gilmer Ch. 5,6,7

Term Paper Guidelines
Choose a health care issue from the list provided or negotiate a mutually agreed upon issue with the professor.
1. Health and Social Policy and the Aging Population

2. Health Promotion and the Elderly

3. Protein Calorie Malnutrition and the Elderly

4. Ethnicity and Aging

5. Elder Abuse

6 Marginalization and the Elderly

7. Intergenerational Caregiving

8. Mental Health/Mental Illness and the Elderly

9. Polypharmacy and the Elderly

10. Substance Abuse and the Elderly

11. Frailty and the Elderly

12. Confusion and the Elderly

13. Incontinence and the Elderly

14. Falls and the Elderly

15. Empowerment and the Elderly
PART I: Literature Review and Interview (Worth 10 marks)
Due: October 13, 2005
1. Choose a minimum of 5 research or theory based articles on the issue you have selected.
2. Analyze the literature and prepare three (3) open-ended questions that you plan to use to interview two people (one an older adult and the other a care giver or policy maker). The questions should be directed toward major areas of concern identified in the literature. You may wish to list some subheadings for elaboration under each question.
3. Submit the questions for review and put in final paper as an appendix.
4. Interview the two people. Do not use names, just demographic data.
PART II: SIX PAGE PAPER (worth 40 marks)
Due Date: November 17, 2005
The paper should reflect the student's ability to:
1. Introduce the issue focus and identification of related issues/aspects to be discussed. (5 marks)
2. Describe the experiences of the interviewees. Compare and contrast their concerns; feelings and experiences with each other and with the relevant literature. Indicate possible factors/ explanations for similarities and differences between the interviewees and your findings in the literature. (25 marks)
3. Use and cite references including original research articles (5 marks).
4. Organize the paper in a scholarly manner, use 4th edition APA style, creativity, clarity, organization and summary statements. (5 marks)
5. The paper excluding title page and bibliography must not exceed six pages.
6. Submit the original and maintain a copy of yourself.
TOTAL 40 marks
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