Bringing Gerontology Education to Allied Health Students

By Glista, Sandra; Petersons, Maija | Journal of Allied Health, Spring 2003 | Go to article overview

Bringing Gerontology Education to Allied Health Students

Glista, Sandra, Petersons, Maija, Journal of Allied Health


A CRITICAL NEED EXISTS for more allied health personnel with special competencies for serving older persons within well-coordinated interdisciplinary teams. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects much faster than average growth in employment for allied health workers between 1998 and 2008, higher than for nursing or any other group of health professionals.1 In the Ninth Report to Congress, Tise2 stated:

The projected rapid growth for allied health care workers is based largely on expectations that new technologies, new equipment, and a growing and aging population will continue to create additional demand for health care services and workers. It is expected that those advances, while they save lives and prevent disabilities, will leave many patients with extensive rehabilitative needs.... Probably the greatest contributor to demand, however will be sheer population growth, particularly among the aged, who are more likely to have acute and chronic health problems.

Despite this recognized need to be prepared to serve an aging population, many allied health students are enrolled in programs already filled with discipline-specific curriculum, which leaves no time to elect gerontology course work. Additionally, applied clinical education may or may not include systematic practicum experiences with older and aging adults. The need for revision of current curricula and clinical teaching practices is apparent.

Allied health students completing clinical training also need to be placed in model practicum sites with master clinicians who have significant experience serving older adults. Many off-campus clinical supervisors or field faculty recognize their own lack of formal educational preparation in gerontology. In a continuing education needs survey of 214 practitioners representing 12 allied health disciplines, 76% reported having fewer than 30 contact hours or no gerontology education while preparing for their career. All expressed a need for their own continuing education in gerontology.3 At the same time, respondents explained how access to continuing education was difficult for most of them because of restricted time available away from work obligations and limited allowance to fund professional development activities.

Alliance for Gerontology Education

Project AGE: Alliance for Gerontology Education was conceived as a solution to the above-described problems. Project AGE, a personnel preparation project to provide allied health students with the competencies needed to serve elderly people, has been supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resource Service Administration (#DH 37 AH 00649-03). It provides a discipline-specific curriculum infusion model, thematic interdisciplinary-practice modules, and practicum-- site interdisciplinary partnerships that show successful inclusion of life-span development issues. The project was designed to achieve the following objectives: (1) infuse gerontology content into audiology, blind rehabilitation, community health education, dental hygiene, dietetics, exercise science, occupational therapy, recreation, and speech pathology courses; (2) develop interdisciplinary practica; and (3) provide allied health continuing education.

Project AGE grew out of the Western Michigan University (WMU) Committee on Interdisciplinary Gerontology Education. This group comprised faculty from WMU and other colleges and universities and community health professionals practicing in gerontology. Committee members included representatives from all allied health disciplines and faculty members from departments of sociology, counselor education and counseling psychology, nursing, physician assistant, and social work. Community practitioners from long-term care, public health, and assisted living centers also were participants. Meeting with the support of the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services and through deliberations over a period of more than 1 year, the committee conceptualized the Project AGE goals that would permit enrichment of allied health curricula and enhancement of teaching practices to provide gerontology content and teach skills for working with older adults. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

Bringing Gerontology Education to Allied Health Students


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.