Occupational Therapy 658

OCTH 658: Working with Older Adults

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of OCTH 640, 642, 644 and 646 or permission of the Chair

Credit Hours: (2)

A case-based learning approach is used to explore current issues in occupation and aging, and the role of the occupational therapist in elder care.  


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

Topics include:

  • Overview of gerontic occupational therapy
  • Demographics of the elderly population
  • Associations and organizations relating to gerontology
  • Review of the biological, psychosocial and cognitive aging processes, and theories of aging
  • Living arrangements, and modifying and designing living space for the elderly
  • Wellness and the elderly
  • Mental health and the older adult
  • Drugs and the elderly
  • Falls and fall prevention
  • Intervention programs and modalities used in gerontic occupational therapy
  • Working in long-term care facilities
  • Working in home-health care
  • Reimbursement and documentation issues in elder care
  • Death, dying and hospice care


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Readings, lectures and discussions will be supplemented by "hands-on" practice with evaluation and intervention techniques.  Students will work individually and in teams to analyze live, videotaped and/or print case studies, evaluate simulated clients, and develop intervention plans.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of human development and the aging process;
  2. Given simulated clients, provide training in self-care, self-management, home management and community and avocational integration;
  3. Given case scenarios, plan for discharge and develop recommendations for home and community programming to support performance in the client's natural environment;
  4. Given simulated clients, select and teach compensatory strategies, such as the use of technology, adaptations to the environment, and involvement of caregivers to assist clients in the completion of tasks;
  5. Demonstrate the ability to document occupational therapy services to meet standards for reimbursement of services in long-term care and home-health care settings.


Assessment Measures

Participation in team activities, tests, graded intervention plans and client simulation exercises may be used to assess the outcomes of this course.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

February, 2009