Why is geropsychology important?
While many older adults have positive mental health experience as they age, many more face unique age-related psychological and behavioral challenges throughout their golden years. Both hospitals and long-term care facilities need geropsychologists and other mental health professionals who are equipped to handle the aging mind as well as the aging body. Psychology specialists working in gerontology have a range of duties, including forgiveness counseling and treatment for diseases such as dementia.
The American Psychological Association expects the number of elderly with mental and behavioral disorders to quadruple in the next several decades. It is vital for geriatric specialists to understand the significant impact that mental health has on the quality of elderly life.
Why this geropsychology track?
Students of the University of Florida’s geropsychology track are trained to care for the mental health of aging adults. Graduates of this master’s degree program in gerontology will be able to recognize normal cognitive aging to geriatric-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. These courses also provide graduates foundations in psychological assessment, the causes of poor mental health, and delivering care to older individuals and their families.
Who can benefit from this program?
Geropsychology track students will be prepared to handle psychological and managerial roles in the field of aging. The program requires no clinical experience. Courses are interactive, asynchronous, and flexible.
Recommended career paths include:
- Mental health professionals
- Care managers and specialists
- Social workers
- Activity coordinators or assistants
- Assisted living directors
What will students learn?
The geropsychology track has courses in both gerontology and elder psychology to prepare students for the psychological and clinical assessment of seniors, as well as treatment development and interventions.
Courses include studies in:
- Contemporary theory of normal cognitive aging
- Cognitive neuroscience
- Neuropsychology for brain-damaged individuals
- Principles of geriatric case management
- Caregiver assessment
- Care monitoring
- Communicating care plans between the elderly and their families
The UF geropsychology track is only available to master's degree seeking students. To earn the master’s degree, students must complete nine core courses and three specialty courses in their chosen specialization. If a graduate certificate student wishes to complete a specialty track, they are encouraged to later apply to the master’s degree program.
Specialty Track Courses
- GEY 6306 Communication in the Aging Network (Family Systems & Care Planning)
- GEY 5935 Ethical, Legal and Business Aspects of Geriatric Care Management
- DEP 6059 Issues and Concepts in Gerontology (web-based; formerly GEY 6646)
- CLP 7934 Special Topics: Psychotherapy with Older Adults; Very Late Life; Neurocognition, in Aging; Neuropsychology of Aging (web-based)
- GEY 6220 Overview of Geriatric Care Management