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  • Graduate Certificate | 13021Gerontology Multidiscipline

The Gerontology Multidiscipline, Ontario College Graduate Certificate program is offered on a part-time basis through the School of Social & Community Services. Courses are scheduled in the evenings to accommodate students who are working in the field.

What You Will Learn

Course work is scheduled on a staggered basis throughout each semester to enable students to realistically take more than one course per term. The certificate can be completed in one or two years. The program has three intakes per year. Tuition is payable per course at the time of registration. Upon acceptance, students may also elect to take one or several courses of interest without having to commit to completing the entire program.

The population of persons 65 years of age and older is increasing at a significant rate. The aging of Canada's baby boom generation is resulting in a growing demand for highly trained staff, possessing a holistic understanding of the aging process and the skills required to work effectively with older adults.

The Gerontology program is ideal for persons who are working with older adults in either community or institutional settings. Interprofessional collaboration, with students entering the program having diverse backgrounds in social, recreation and health fields, will be encouraged in the classroom. There is a strong focus on both theoretical and practical aspects of practice. Working from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to the study of aging, the certificate encompasses a wide range of topic areas relevant to persons working with or on behalf of older persons.


Compulsory Courses - 6 Required - Click on course title below to view details and link to registration page.

GERN 5001
Gerontology and Diversity in Aging

This course provides an introduction to the study of aging in Canada within an interdisciplinary context. The impacts of aging will be explored using demographic data to uncover trends in diversity within the older adult population.

Theories on aging will be examined with a focus on historical developments in the field of gerontology. Common terminology will be discussed. The social construction of aging and ageism in society will be debated. Students will have the opportunity to examine their own personal beliefs, values and attitudes towards aging.

GERN 5002
Psychological and Social Aspects of Aging

This course will provide an overview of normal psychological and social processes affecting the older adult. The effects of aging on personality, learning, memory, intelligence and creativity will be explored.

Pertinent psycho/social issues facing elders will be discussed and include: relationships with adult children, sexuality, love in later life, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit and questioning) and aging, widowhood, loneliness, caregiving, retirement, death, dying and end-of-life issues.

GERN 5003
Physical Aging, Wellness and Promotion of Abilities

This course will deal with physical aspects of aging and the promotion of wellness. Distinctions between normal and pathological processes will be discussed using a systems approach. Systems to be reviewed will include: integumentary, musculoskeletal, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive and endocrine

GERN 5004
Mental Health and Working with Older Adults at Risk

This course focuses on how the "strengths perspective" can be applied in case management to create a context for the empowerment of older adults with mental health issues.

Students will identify, develop, and use skills specific to empowerment-oriented case management that include: awareness of systemic issues; engagement and understanding of individual life stories; barriers identification and reinforcement of internal strengths. Discussion of issues of competency, risk, substitute decision makers, power of attorney for finances and personal care, the right to refuse care and the concept of self-determination will include an examination of Ontario legislation regarding the rights of vulnerable adults. Case studies will focus on a number of at-risk groups, including older adults impacted upon by substance abuse, cognitive impairment, psychiatric and mental health issues. The course will consider ethical issues related to aging.

GERN 5005
Interpersonal Skills and Counselling with Older Adults

This course will enable students to develop and practice helping skills necessary for effective and respectful communication with older adults, their families and friends. From this perspective, supportive counselling and communication skills will be discussed and applied with a special focus on well elders, persons with sensory losses and those with physical and cognitive impairment and behavioural difficulties.

This course will also examine the role of the family, support networks and significant others as participants in the helping process. Students will explore strengths-based practical and theoretical aspects of counselling in working with older adults. The course will combine lectures and experiential exercises in order for students to integrate their knowledge and skills to a diverse elderly population. Related issues will include older adults' life transitions, coping skills and life review techniques.

GERN 5006
Social Policy and the Long-Term Care System

This course will examine social policy related to aging with a focus on women and aging, aboriginal issues, income security programs, housing, transportation, retirement and environmental design. A special focus on health-care policy will lead to an examination of the long-term care system and explore government policies related to system reform, local health integration networks, and funding issues.

Program Coordinator
Brenda Elias

Student Success

"To me success means being able to achieve goals and targets that one sets for themselves with hard work, self confidence and consistent effort. I was passionate about becoming a doctor and I successfully obtained my MD degree. I moved to Italy and successfully established my own business there in 1995." 

Faculty Highlight

Mona Munro has been teaching in Humber’s Gerontology program for many years teaching Interpersonal Skills and Counselling with Older Adults at the Humber North Campus and more recently at Humber Lakeshore Campus.