Why Gerontological Training?

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Why Gerontological Training?
By Paul P. Falkowski, Ph.D. Online Instructor/Coordinator
Department of Gerontology – University of Nebraska at Omaha

Hardly a day passes without a headline appearing about elder abuse, nursing homes under investigation, growing staff shortages and turnovers rates and so on. While many providers give excellent care, Boomers are increasingly searching Nursing Home Compare and other similar internet sites to help them make decisions about long-term care for their loved-ones. Boomers are likely the most educated and discerning cohort in history. As a result, the demand for quality care is increasing as is the demand for competent providers from the delegator to the direct-care staff alike. The way to meet this growing demand is with a solid education in gerontology.

Prior to my gerontological training, I believed, as many people do, that older adults were silly, that their ideas were irrelevant, that people with Alzheimer’s “aren’t there anymore,” and a myriad of other myths and misconceptions. I knew nothing of the challenges older adults face or such concepts as life review. Through my gerontological education, I have learned that older adults are more than capable of adapting to change, that they have much to offer society given the opportunity to do so, and that the challenges of aging can be difficult such as losing long-standing relationships or one’s independence.

With few exceptions, my experience has been that people working with older adults want to provide the very best care possible because of their commitment and passion for doing so. But it is not enough just to know your skill, or even to be passionate, you need to know the intricacies of the people you serve. Earning a certificate or a degree in gerontology isn’t just about adding something to your resume, it’s about understanding people, it’s about caring for someone’s mother or father, it’s about helping a family navigate end-of-life issues and much more.

At the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Department of Gerontology, we are inspiring and preparing future leaders through education and practice so that that every older adult can enjoy both quantity and quality of life.

Please visit our website: http://gerontology.unomaha.edu to learn more about our certificates and degrees.
We have rolling admission so you can apply at any time.
Feel free to call or email me for more information. Working together, we can change the headlines.
Contact Information: E-mail: pfalkowski@unomaha.edu
Telephone: (402)554-3780
Website: http://gerontology.unomaha.edu

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