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La Salle University Master of Science in Nursing
CARITAS - Course Descriptions

Required Courses for the CARITAS Gerontology Certificate

GERO 410/510: Caring for the Elderly: Theories, Practice, and Social Policy (3 credits)
This course analyzes aggregate care models for the elderly. It explores social policy on aging from a governmental and interagency perspective. Population changes and aging in society are highlighted. Public health and social agency strategies are explored. Ethical issues relating to aging and social policy are discussed. Prerequisite: None

GERO 422/522: Theories, Principles, and Assessment in Biological, Psychological, and Pathophysiological Aging (3 credits)
The course explores social and psychological aspects of aging, common physical health problems in the elderly, and behavioral and biological aging theories. Special attention is given to mood disorders, dementia, elder abuse, congestive heart failure, degenerative joint disease, and osteoporosis as prototype concerns. Common therapeutic interventions such as fall prevention, pain management, and exploitation prevention and assessment strategies for social, psychological, physical, and functional health aspects of aging are emphasized. Public health implications of depression, delirium, dementia, and elder exploitation are explored. Health advocacy approaches, prevention models, and critical pathway analysis are used to frame health promotion and disease prevention programs. Pre-requisite: None.

GERO 591: Geriatric Psychopharmacology (1 credit)
This course explores treatment of mental health problems in the elderly using pharmacological interventions. Drug treatment for depression and psychosis are featured, as well as management of behavior disorders related to dementia along with the role of psychoactive drugs in the care of older adults. Appropriate and inappropriate uses of such drugs will be compared. Depression and dementia will be examined as prototypes of psychoactive drug use in the elderly. End of life issues and pain relief will be addressed. Pre-requisites: GERO 410, 422 or special permission.

GERO 480/580: Field Study in Gerontology (3 credits) Practicum
This practicum course offers opportunities for students to observe and work with a preceptor in clinical or community settings serving the elderly. Seminar meetings and clinical experiences allow students to apply concepts of gerontology in actual elder care situations. Pre-requisites: GERO 410/510, GERO 422/522, GERO 591.

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