Geriatric Counseling Career
What is Geriatric Counseling?
The physical and cognitive changes that occur during the aging process can make life very difficult for many people. This is especially true for individuals who are used to being independent during the first part of their lives.
This time in a person’s life can be extremely overwhelming for a number of reasons. Geriatric counseling is a type of counseling that is meant to offer assistance to older adults during this difficult transition period in their lives. Professionals in this field typically assist elderly individuals with a number of problems, from mental health issues to finding transportation. In general, they are typically there in order to help make the lives of older adults easier and more comfortable.
In today’s modern world, people are living to older ages than ever before. Because of this, the field of geriatrics is growing faster than ever before.
How Do I Become a Geriatric Counselor?
To become a geriatric counselor you will need to go through a rather rigorous amount of schooling. This includes obtaining a Bachelor's Degree, then a Master's Degree, and finally entering into a Doctorate or PhD program. If you are serious about entering into this field of study, request information from programs available for you here.
Why Do We Need Geriatric Counselors?
It’s no secret that many older adults need help with their day to day activities. However, it can be very difficult for family members to be there whenever their loved ones need them, no matter how much they wish they could be.
Geriatric counselors, on the other hand, can provide the assistance that older adults need. The help that these professionals provide often makes the lives of older adults and their families much easier, convenient, and more comfortable. In short, these counselors help provide a better quality of life for those in their “golden years”.
What Does a Geriatric Counselor Do?
Geriatric counselors will often work closely with all types of people, including older adults as well as their family members and health care providers. These professionals typically have a number of different responsibilities, depending on their situations.
Before a geriatric counselor starts working with a new client, he will usually attempt to understand the needs of the client. This often involves reviewing a client’s medical history to become aware of their past and current medical problems, along with any medications the client might be taking. A geriatric counselor will also need to be aware of any limitations of their client. In some cases, a geriatric counselor will also be made aware of a client’s financial situation and family status. All of this information can be used to better serve the needs of the client.
After obtaining this information, a geriatric counselor will then attempt to put together a plan to help make their client’s life easier. This may involve performing daily tasks such as managing the client’s money, shopping for groceries, or arranging for transportation. A geriatric counselor will also usually help set older adults up with social service and assistance programs as well.
A geriatric counselor may also act as a liaison between an older adult and the people around him. For instance, the counselor might help set up doctor’s appointments and fill out any necessary paperwork.
It is also often the responsibility of a geriatric counselor to keep abreast of his clients’ current situations. For instance, a client’s needs may change in the event of a serious illness or accident.
Geriatric counselors will also usually keep a close eye on the mental and emotional state of their elderly patients as well. During this time in a person’s life, dealing with psychological problems in not all that uncommon. For example, an elderly individual may suffer from depression or a similar problem. A geriatric counselor can often help his clients cope with these types of disorders and offer guidance on how to deal with life’s challenges.
Where Do Geriatric Counselors Work?
geriatric counselors can often be found in a variety of facilities and organizations that cater to the needs of elderly individuals. They might work in hospitals, long and short term care facilities, retirement homes, and community senior centers, for instance.
Geriatric counselors can also usually be found working in government and private social service offices.
What are the Education Requirements to Become a Geriatric Counselor?
|Education Requirements||Education Length||Available Programs|
|Undergraduate Work||Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling||4 Years||Online or Campus|
|Graduate Work||Earn a Master's Degree in Counseling||5-6 Years||Online or Campus|
|PHD or Doctoral Work||Earn a Doctorate in Counseling||7-8 Years||Online or Campus|
The requirements for starting a geriatric counseling career typically vary slightly, depending on your state. Earning a bachelor’s degree in counseling, social work, human services, geriatrics, or psychology, though, is usually a good start to a geriatric counseling career. Many aspiring geriatric counselors also choose to earn graduate degrees as well.
Most states also require future geriatric counselors to have about 3,000 hours of experience working with elderly individuals as well before they become licensed. This requirement is usually fulfilled by completing an internship, volunteering, or working in a facility that caters to elderly individuals.
What is the Median Salary for a Geriatric Counselor?
The median salary of a geriatric counselor can be hard to determine, but it is often similar to other related professions within the counseling field. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median annual salary of home health and personal care aides was $20,170 in 2010. Social and human service assistants, on the other hand, earned a median salary of $28,200.