Online Gerontology Course is Accessible and Helpful to Everyone

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Deborah Moffatt is encouraging students to enroll in the online Gerontology Course offered at UC Clermont for reasons that go beyond the credits.

Deborah Moffatt is a professor at UC Clermont and teaches the online Gerontology Course. This course was introduced to UC Clermont in 2009. Professor Moffatt began teaching the class face-to-face, but later decided that the number of students enrolled demonstrated that the course would be better taken online. The course had not been taught for awhile and the curriculum was updated.  She was teaching the course at Southern State Community College and UC Clermont and was able to use that information, and their textbook, to help improve the structure of what she wanted the UC Clermont Gerontology Course to be. Gerontology credits are helpful to Allied Health majors, Human Resources majors, and Social Services majors, but the course is useful for any major and any person in general.

Gerontology is the study of people who are aging. The body develops and grows differently as people get older, and the study focuses on these physical and mental changes. Gerontology may be very specific in its focus, but is also quite relevant to our society, especially now. Professor Moffatt explains that there are approximately seventy-six million people in the Baby Boomer Generation, and there are forty-nine million people in Generation X. “How are forty-nine million people supposed to take care of seventy-six million people?” Professor Moffatt believes that younger generations should be prepared to take care of their elders.

Professor Moffatt is indeed quite passionate about Gerontology, and for good reason. She cared for her mother for fifteen years until her passing a few years ago. Professor Moffatt said that she learned a great deal about Gerontology while her mother lived with her: “This course is the legacy of everything I’ve learned from my mom being a part of my family.” She also explained that many students have taken this course for personal reasons, and how it is accessible for everyone. This is why she began advertising the course—because it’s open to everyone, and she believes that it could really help students and their families. Moffatt also said that “it’s just a class—but it’s not just a class for me.”

A photo of Deborah Moffatt.Professor Moffatt’s passion is seen throughout the course. She brings in articles discussing ways that many people are trying to improve the lives of elderly people. She talks about a concept called “Greenhouse Living,” where older people live in small houses in a community rather than being placed into single, large homes. She also became excited about a local police officer who wanted other officers to begin checking on elderly people who live independently and do not have family to regularly check up on them. And, Professor Moffatt hopes that if the advertising of the class goes well, they can host public forums about different lessons so the course can be open to the community.

The online Gerontology Course covers every aspect of Gerontology such as communication, compassion, empathy, the psychology of older people, and the biology of the elderly. For example, something taught in the class that everyone can learn from concerns the most efficient way to speak with people who suffer from hearing loss. Professor Moffatt said that we should stand and make eye contact, speak clearly, and wait thirty seconds. This ensures that the words being said are processed clearly and effectively. The course also simulates aging and allows the students to understand an elder’s perspective, which will help with learning compassion. Taking this course also leads to many field placement opportunities, like volunteering in Greenhouse Living homes.

Along with the course, there is a Gerontology Certificate that can be earned. The certificate asks students to take a few more classes, and allows employers to know that they’ve had proper training in working with older people.

Professor Moffatt began advertising for the Gerontology course because they believe that the world has changed, and there is a growing number of people above the age of sixty-five. When it comes time for students and the younger generations to take care of their elders, whether they’re family or volunteering, Professor Moffatt believe it’s important to know what to do.

 

 

 

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Nikki Addison is a freshman majoring in Biology at UC Clermont. Her favorite foods are breakfast foods, she enjoys listening to music, laughing, and is bad at writing short bios.

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