This course examines aging and its effect on individuals, using concepts, source materials and methods from the biological and social sciences as well as the humanities. Longevity, morbidity compression and technology have changed the face of aging; the very definition of who is an older adult can be questioned within this altered context. While the process of growing older is still, ultimately, inevitable, how one actually goes through that process is the unique outcome of the mind-body aging experience. The course has two foci: the anticipated physiological and psycho-social changes associated with aging and the various responses older adults may engage in to overcome, adapt to and live with these changes. A course objective is to increase the students skill in moving between societal and individual considerations without losing sight of underlying human questions. We will focus on techniques for studying individuals adaptations to aging with a special emphasis on expected physiological changes, healthy aging, role transition, relationships, cultural variation and living with chronic illness and disability. This course is suitable for the student who wishes to secure a generalist foundation in the content area and apply that knowledge to service delivery, program development, and direct work with older adults.
GNT 501 or permission of instructor