How to Become a Gerontological Counselor

A gerontological counselor, more commonly called a geriatric counselor, has to be aware that all persons, at some stage in their lives, may undergo physical and mental changes that naturally occur during later life. It is up to the gerontological counselor to identify these changes and take action as to limit the pain and suffering that older people may encounter in life*.

Many people may have experienced years of being independent throughout their lives and to suddenly find that they have to rely on others for help and assistance may make for a very traumatic period in their lives. Depression may sink in and the inability to cope with everyday life often runs the risk of affecting an older person's lifestyle and mental balance. A geriatric counselor may need to go through a hefty amount of college and school work before becoming certified to be a gerontological counselor.

You may ideally need to attain a Bachelor's Degree and then perhaps a Master's Degree before you may expect to be employed as a gerontological counselor. Many students may actually advance through to the doctorate program, which is where students may get their PhD program completed**.

A gerontological counselor may work closely with many people that are older adults and experiencing some dramatic lifestyle changes due in part to a number of conditions or psychological issues that have blighted their lives. You may be dealing with patients that have been suffering from dementia, depression, disease, cancer or crippling physical disabilities. For many of these people, the last decades of their lives are supposed to be the so called "golden years" and they may have desperately wanted to live out those years in the best way they can***.

A gerontological counselor may understand the processes of what it takes to make old age more bearable when an older patient is suffering from the effects of later life. You may also work closely with social workers, the relatives of geriatric patients, social workers, hospital staff and doctors that have an up to date record of that elderly patient's medical history**.

One of the most important steps when becoming a gerontological counselor is to understand and identify the needs of a patient and take into to consideration of the younger members of the family and consider their wishes too. Often you may have to advise against their better judgement, so an air of authority may also be a requirement in this role.



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