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Gerontology

Gerontology (GERON) Courses

GERON 200 Activity Leader, Coordinator, and Director Training

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course details for the duties, roles, and responsibilities of planning and leading activities for older people and adults with disabilities residing in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), adult day health centers (ADHCs), residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs), adult day programs (ADPs), and in settings without mandated training requirements, such as senior centers, community and recreations centers, and health clubs where these groups participate in programs and exercise.

This course meets the California Title 22, Divisions 5 requirements for the training of activity leaders working in medical settings, SNFs and ADHCs. An Occupational Therapist and a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist licensed in CA provide 54 hours of instruction, which exceeds the 36 hour Title 22 requirement. The course also exceeds Title 22, Division 5 requirements for activity coordinators, and title 22, Division 6 requirements for activity directors and activity staff with other titles working in non-medical RCFE and ADP settings.

As required by Title 22, Division 5 requirements for leaders of activities in medical settings, the course topics include federal and state regulations; residential and non-residential organizational structures; the role and function of activity paraprofessionals; medical terminology; the aging process and disease processes; disabilities and strategies for accommodating disabilities communication disorders, and sensorineural losses; person-centered activity planning and leading; and emergency preparedness. The curriculum also includes supplemental topics related to emergency preparedness, infection control, and other emerging concerns in all settings.

Instructor qualifications and licenses and the course curriculum are reviewed for approval by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) each semester. Upon completion of this course, a certificate confirming completion of a training program that meets the State of California SNF and ADHC survey documentation requirements will be awarded.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • evaluate the role of the Activity Leader as it relates to the needs of residents.
  • list important federal and state regulations (CA Title 22).
  • compare and contrast person-centered interaction strategies, their application, and outcomes.
  • identify strategies for effective interactions with residents who have communication deficits and/or dementia behaviors during activities.
  • apply knowledge of federal and state regulations in an intuitional scenario.
  • assess the activity needs of a skilled nursing facility resident and include consideration of their physical and cognitive abilities and their emotional, social, and cultural needs.
  • develop an appropriate activity to meet the physical and cognitive abilities and emotional, social, and cultural needs of a long-term care resident.
  • create an activity calendar and newsletter that meets the overall needs of residents in a facility.

GERON 205 Validation: Theory and Practice

  • Units:0.5
  • Hours:9 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course presents Validation theory as a communication technique used with individuals with differing levels of cognitive ability. Criteria for evaluating stages of dementia and the selection of appropriate techniques are covered. Pass/No Pass only.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • assess elements of communication that relate to Validation theory
  • analyze theory of Validation
  • demonstrate Validation techniques
  • analyze dementia stages and select appropriate Validation techniques

GERON 220 RCFE Administrator Training

  • Units:4.5
  • Hours:81 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course meets the educational requirements necessary to take for state licensure as an administrator of a residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE). Topics include philosophy, mission, and operations of a RCFE; regulations, rights and responsibilities of licensees; fingerprinting and criminal record clearances; psychosocial needs of residents; physical plant requirements; resident assessment, retention, and eviction; resident records and services; food service regulations; admission agreement; special diets; medications; abuse reporting; residents' rights; and community resources. Pass/No Pass only.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • explain residential care and mission of licensing
  • analyze the function of a RCFE facility license from three perspectives
  • discuss the rights and responsibilities of a licensee
  • explain the need and process for fingerprinting and criminal record clearance
  • compare licensing requirements and deficiencies in a RCFE
  • evaluate medical conditions and diseases associated with aging and relate to residents' requirements
  • evaluate the need for waivers to cover residents with special needs
  • evaluate a facility plan to meet California requirements for fire, safety, storage, and emergency preparedness
  • evaluate a resident for functional capacities and appropriateness of RCFE placement
  • document in-patient records, changes in condition, medication record, and physician orders
  • evaluate menus and preparation of food to meet California requirements
  • define regulatory requirements covering RCFE personal accommodations and services
  • explain health conditions that are prohibited in a RCFE
  • evaluate resident records for compliance with regulations
  • evaluate RCFE menus for compliance with dietary regulations and special diets
  • explain the regulations covering centrally stored resident medications
  • assess under what conditions and by whom elder abuse must be reported
  • compare advance directives and "do not resuscitate" orders
  • describe the requirements for safeguarding resident resources in a RCFE
  • compare community resources for applicability to RCFE residents

GERON 230 Motivating Older Adults to Stay Active

  • Units:0.5
  • Hours:9 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course focuses on how to motivate healthy older adults to stay independent, active, and mobile. Topics include wellness, aerobic fitness, nutrition, stress, self- and group-motivation techniques, and cognition as they affect seniors. Credit/No Credit only.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • assess normal aging and effects of unhealthy lifestyle choices
  • describe healthful lifestyle choices and their effects on aging
  • evaluate factors in cognitive wellness as people age
  • compare and contrast different self- and group-motivational techniques for staying active

GERON 280 Home Adaptations for Safety and Independence

  • Units:0.5
  • Hours:9 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course explores adaptations to the home environment to promote safety and independence for those with disabilities. Topics include assessment, durable equipment, home modifications and resources. Pass/No Pass only.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • assess the functional ability of a home resident
  • evaluate safety issues within the home
  • evaluate durable equipment to facilitate safety in the home

GERON 299 Experimental Offering in Gerontology

  • Units:0.5 - 4
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This is the experimental courses description.


GERON 302 Psychology of Aging: Adult Development and Aging

  • Same As:PSYC 374
  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340
  • Transferable:CSU; UC (UC credit limitation: GERON 300, 302, PSYC 374, & SOC 335 combined: maximum credit, one course)
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D; CSU Area E1; IGETC Area 4
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course covers the physical, psychological, and social aspects of the aging process including the interactions between the elderly and the rest of society. Topics include an analysis of stereotypes, social bonds, environmental factors, sexuality, physical health, mental health, death, and bereavement. This course is not open to students who have completed PSYC 374.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • identify and explain the differences between gerontology and geriatrics and explain the changing age demographics both in the United States and globally.
  • describe at least four commonly held myths, stereotypes, or ageist attitudes regarding older adults and explain the impact these attitudes have on the image of aging.
  • analyze and predict three ways race, gender, and ethnicity might influence the aging process.
  • analyze the concepts of successful aging and optimal aging and recognize the differences between at least three normal and three abnormal age changes.
  • describe at least three biological and three social theories used to predict how an individual might respond to the aging process or to old age.
  • discuss and incorporate the concept of family and intimate relationships in later life and the importance of convoys or networks in the individual process of aging.
  • explain at least three of the financial costs associated with aging.
  • describe the concept of “aging in place” using at least three local and national resources, two entitlements, and three healthcare options.
  • identify an elder who is aging optimally and describe at least three lifestyle choices, based on gerontological theory, that the student feels altered his/her aging process.

GERON 303 Introduction to Social Gerontology: Aging in Contemporary Society

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 and ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU; UC (effective Fall 2021)
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); AA/AS Area III(b); CSU Area D; CSU Area E1; IGETC Area 4 (effective Fall 2021)
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course is an introduction to older people and the aging process in the context of contemporary society through the perspective of social gerontology. It focuses the biopsychosocial lens on the social forces that contribute to the development of individuality across the lifespan and lead to differences in how people age. Using this lens, students gain perspective on how opportunities, choices, and experiences throughout life are driven by gender, race, and class, and how they culminate during aging and impact aging outcomes. It explores the influence of when people were born, where people were born, history, and how politics contribute to individual beliefs, behaviors, and experiences throughout life and during aging. The aging experience in the United States is also compared to aging in other countries. Gerontology majors are encouraged to take this course in their first semester of study.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • assess the influence of historical events, technological advancements, and cultural shifts on aging cohorts based on decade of birth.
  • deconstruct how social factors such as gender, race, and class contribute to opportunities and experiences throughout life and during aging.
  • examine the ability of federal and state agencies to respond to the challenges of population aging.
  • utilize the theories of aging to explain current societal beliefs about aging in the United States.
  • explain the importance of family, friends, and other informal supports during aging.

GERON 304 Ethical Issues and Client's Rights

  • Same As:HSER 310
  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Corequisite:HSER 300
  • Advisory:ENGWR 102 or 103, and ENGRD 116 with a grade of “C” or better; OR ESLR 320 and ESLW 320 with a grade of “C” or better; OR placement through assessment process.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course is a comprehensive exploration of the basic ethical issues involving human services delivery. Topics include professional ethics, confidentiality, counselor and clients' rights, and other areas involving ethical controversies. This course is not open to students who have completed HSER 310.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • evaluate the state and federal laws most often violated in human services delivery
  • analyze existing California Professional Codes of Ethics
  • describe the application of clients' rights in human services agencies and institutions
  • describe appropriate professional behavior in human services agencies and institutions
  • examine one's own values and attitudes as they apply to ethical decision making

GERON 310 Social Service Designee: Role and Responsibility

  • Units:2.5
  • Hours:45 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course covers the role of the Social Services Designee in long-term care. The focus is on family, patient adjustment, and dementia. It also covers documentation for the Social Services Designee working in long-term care.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • evaluate the role of a social service designee
  • explain Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA)/Title 22 regulations
  • analyze normal aging changes and how these affect the resident
  • identify resident rights and responsibilities

GERON 311 Social Services Designee: Legal Issues and End-of-Life Decisions

  • Units:1
  • Hours:18 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 102 and ENGRD 116 with a grade of “C” or better; OR ESLR 320 and ESLW 320 with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course covers legal issues involved with long-term care. The focus is on probate, conservatorships, wills, trusts, power of attorney for financial management, and the California Advanced Health Care Directives, and right-to-die issues.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • define and discuss probate, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advanced health care directives, long-term care and the financing of long-term care
  • define and discuss informed consent and conservatorships
  • define and discuss right-to-die issues
  • analyze ethical end-of-life decisions

GERON 312 Social Services Designee: Fieldwork

  • Units:1
  • Hours:18 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:GERON 310 and 311 with grades of "C" or better
  • Advisory:ENGWR 102 or 103, and ENGRD 116 with a grade of “C” or better; OR ESLR 320 and ESLW 320 with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course provides an opportunity to explore the social services designee role in a long-term care facility and to apply knowledge gained to long-term care experience in the area of social services.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • describe the role of a social services designee
  • analyze and evaluate long-term care facility environments
  • interview and assess residents in long-term care facilities

GERON 335 Wellness for Older Adults

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course explores positive lifestyle choices throughout life which have a positive effect on health and well-being. Topics include exercise, nutrition, stress management, chronic disease, and adaptations for disability.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • analyze exercise programs and their effect on aging
  • assess individual diets and make adjustments to maximize health and optimal aging
  • identify how stress management can improve health
  • evaluate exercise programs to meet individual needs
  • examine chronic conditions of aging in relation to stress

GERON 340 Nutrition for Healthy Aging

  • Same As:NUTRI 324
  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course focuses on the nutrition of older adults. Topics include the effects of nutrition on health and well-being and the physiologic changes in aging, the effects of smell and taste on nutritional status, age-related changes in the gastrointestinal tract, risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and cancer and nutrition. This course is not open to students who have completed NUTRI 324.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • explain the role of nutrition in the health and well-being of older adults.
  • discuss strategies for the prevention of disease and chronic conditions in older adults.
  • describe the physiological changes to the body that may occur as a result of the aging process.
  • list and describe the major food-assistance programs for older adults.
  • discuss the purpose and objectives of nutrition screening methods.
  • outline the benefits, list the necessary components, and list the nutritional considerations of an exercise regimen for an older adult.
  • illustrate how cultural values influence food choices made by older adults.
  • discuss the nutrient needs of older adults as a result of physiological changes.

GERON 360 Ethnic Diversity and Aging

  • Units:0.5
  • Hours:9 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course is an overview of ethnicity and culture as factors in the aging process. It focuses on values, beliefs, and culture, and their impact on the design and delivery of senior services with an emphasis on health and residential care services. Pass/No Pass only.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • synthesize and discuss the role of cultural sensitivity as it relates to working with older people
  • evaluate and discuss differences among ethnic groups in terms of their beliefs about health, mental health, death, family obligations and the use of senior services
  • define and discuss ways of overcoming barriers to understanding and using senior services

GERON 362 Biology of Aging

  • Units:0.5
  • Hours:9 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course is an overview of the biology of aging and health of the older adult. The focus is on chronic and acute illnesses, normal aging changes, sexuality, nutrition, and strategies for good health. Pass/No Pass only.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • define normal and abnormal aging processes and their relationships to lifestyles
  • evaluate health status and problems of older adults and relate them to lifestyles and environments
  • evaluate health care strategies appropriate for older adults and community resources and programs to promote wellness

GERON 366 Coping with Death and Related Bereavement

  • Units:0.5
  • Hours:9 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course explores our societal/cultural and personal views of death, dying, and bereavement. Topics include the processes of dying and grieving from the perspectives of the patient, family, friends, and caregivers; the dynamics of loss, grief, and bereavement; and the needs of the bereaved. Pass/No Pass only.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • identify several theories of dying as well as ego coping mechanisms
  • analyze some of the common differences between dying in an institutional setting and dying with hospice care
  • describe the range of healthy grief responses
  • identify support needs and community resources for support
  • assess personal feelings, attitudes, and values about dying and how they are influenced by society

GERON 368 Mental Health and Aging

  • Units:0.5
  • Hours:9 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course is an overview of mental health as it is impacted by the aging process. Emphasis is on correlates of mental health, incidence of mental illness, depression, dementia, substance abuse, intervention, and mental health resources for seniors. Pass/No Pass only.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • apply the concept of mental health to the aging process
  • describe common mental health issues of depression, dementia, substance abuse, intervention, and resources as they affect the aging population
  • evaluate interventions and resources available to seniors

GERON 378 Body Mechanics and Safety

  • Units:0.5
  • Hours:9 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course is an overview of body mechanics, emphasizing a problem-solving approach. The focus is on basic methods and techniques of positioning, transfer, and ambulation, as well as personal safety, adaptive exercise, and assistive devices. Pass/No Pass only.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • describe the basic anatomy of the spine
  • describe the diagnosis, detection, and treatment of back injuries
  • identify basic principles of body mechanics and posture
  • demonstrate proper transfer techniques
  • cite three consequences of immobility and weight gain
  • list three fall prevention strategies for the elderly
  • demonstrate strengthening and stretching exercises for the back

GERON 380 Nutrition and Aging

  • Units:0.5
  • Hours:9 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course concentrates on the practical aspects of nutrition and aging. Cost-effective directions for meeting nutritional needs are included. Information regarding environmental factors implicated in the aging process is discussed. Pass/No Pass only.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • analyze how nutrition plays a part in overall health and aging
  • explain how cultural attitudes toward lifestyle, stress and environmental factors influence nutrition
  • evaluate information in residential care, assisted living, and skilled nursing facilities to design meals that are cost effective and nutritionally sound
  • name the sources and functions of the essential nutrients
  • analyze the interactions between nutrition and medications
  • evaluate the relationship between nutrition and chronic illness

GERON 490 Aging Policy and Practice

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course provides an overview of the social issues faced by Older Americans and the social policies and programs provided to address those issues, including the Older Americans Act, Social Security, Medicare, and the Elder Justice Act. It investigates how social policies and programs are put into practice by exploring career options in the agencies, businesses, and organizations that provide services and support to older adults living in California.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • generate an Internet resource list with URLs and brief descriptions of the government websites for major programs and services for Older Americans.
  • outline the flow of funding for services to Older Americans from its legislative origins to the local providers in the Aging Network, including local organizations/businesses.
  • summarize theories of help-seeking behavior.
  • differentiate between 1) Social Security and Entitlement Programs; 2) Medicare Options (Part A, B, etc.) and 3) Medicare and MediCal Benefits.
  • identify social issues that impact cultural/ethnic subgroups of older adults.
  • deconstruct social issues that impact cultural/ethnic subgroups of Older Americans.
  • determine the relevance of federal and state Elder Justice regulations to real/hypothetical case studies of elder abuse, exploitation, and neglect.
  • utilize a public resource provided to enrich/improve quality of life during aging.
  • assess the obstacles Older Americans may have to overcome when accessing government programs and services during aging.
  • reflect on policies that contribute to ageism and their impact on the previous, current, and future generations of your family.

GERON 495 Independent Studies in Gerontology

  • Units:1 - 3
  • Hours:54 - 162 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

Independent Study is an opportunity for the student to extend classroom experience in this subject, while working independently of a formal classroom situation. Independent study is an extension of work offered in a specific class in the college catalog. To be eligible for independent study, students must have completed the basic regular catalog course at American River College. They must also discuss the study with a professor in this subject and secure approval. Only one independent study for each catalog course will be allowed.


GERON 498 Work Experience in Gerontology

  • Units:0.5 - 4
  • Hours:30 - 300 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Enrollment Limitation:Students must be in a paid or unpaid internship, volunteer position, or job related to the gerontology field with a cooperating site supervisor. Students are advised to consult with the Gerontology Program to review specific certificate and degree work experience requirements.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • General Education:AA/AS Area III(b)
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This course provides students with opportunities to develop marketable skills in preparation for employment or advancement within the field of gerontology. It is designed for students interested in work experience and/or internships in transfer-level degree occupational programs. Course content includes understanding the application of education to the workforce, completion of Title 5 required forms which document the student's progress and hours spent at the work site, and developing workplace skills and competencies.

During the semester, the student is required to complete 37.5 hours of related paid work experience, or 30 hours of related unpaid work experience for 0.5 unit. An additional 37.5 or 30 hours of related work experience is required for each additional 0.5 units. All students are required to attend the first class meeting, a mid-semester meeting, and a final meeting. Additionally, students who have not already successfully completed a Work Experience course will be required to attend weekly orientations while returning participants may meet individually with the instructor as needed. Students may take up to 16 units total across all Work Experience course offerings. This course may be taken up to four times when there are new or expanded learning objectives. Only one Work Experience course may be taken per semester.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • demonstrate application of industry knowledge and theoretical concepts in the field of gerontology related to a transfer degree level career as written in the minimum three (3) learning objectives created by the student and their employer or work site supervisor at the start of the course.
  • make effective decisions, use workforce information, and manage their personal career plans.
  • behave professionally, ethically, and legally during work, consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and organizational norms.
  • behave responsibly during work, exhibiting initiative and self-management in situations where it is needed.
  • develop effective leadership skills during work, with consideration to group dynamics, team and individual decision making, and workforce diversity.
  • communicate in oral, written, and other formats, as needed, in a variety of contexts during work.
  • locate, organize, evaluate, and reference information during work.
  • demonstrate originality and inventiveness during work by combining ideas or information in new ways, making connections between seemingly unrelated ideas, and reshaping goals in ways that reveal new possibilities using critical and creative thinking skills such as logical reasoning, analytical thinking, and problem-solving.

GERON 499 Experimental Offering in Gerontology

  • Units:0.5 - 4
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2021

This is the experimental courses description.