A Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Health and Social Gerontology in Delhi University covers Policioes, Programmes and Services, Health, Nutrition, Environment, Research methods and special needs of the elderly.
Institute of Home Economics (IHE), Delhi University, offers a one-year postgraduate diploma in health and social gerontology (study of old age, problems and diseases of old people). This course is specifically designed to produce a new breed of carers.
“With the number of elderly people rising and joint families a forgotten past, we need trained professionals who can take care of the elderly. This innovative interdisciplinary course approved by UGC aims to offer an insight into various aspects of gerontology,” says Seema Puri, head of department, Institute of Home Economics, DU, who designed this course that was launched last year.
The two-semester diploma course covers areas such as policies, programmes and services, health, nutrition, environment, research methods and special needs of the elderly. This course will be an added qualification for professionals who have worked at least for a year in the field of gerontology before.
Talking about the faculty, Puri says, “There are about 20 teachers who are trained for this course. Since this is an upcoming multidisciplinary area, the scope of gerontology has increased in many fields such as architecture and food habits for elderly people, among others. This is why we also invite guest lecturers who are counsellors, architects, psychologists, nutrition specialists and doctors.”
After completion of the course, students have abundant career options to choose from. “Students can engage in direct services at old age homes, residential and day care facilities, rehabilitation services in the government and private sector. They can also initiate and sustain research, training, welfare programmes and services for older adults. They can be active members of interdisciplinary teams working with older adults in hospitals, institutions and the community and actively contribute to the work of NGOs, CBOs,” says Puri
According to Puri, students who want to study this course should be capable of empathising and be patient, as these are the qualities needed to understand and communicate with elderly people. Even though it is a lot of hard work, at the end, it is satisfying.
The seats available for the course are 25. To apply for the course, students should have completed BA, BSc, BSc(H) in sciences, social sciences or home science or should have a professional degree in physiotherapy, occupational therapy or nursing with an aggregate of 50% marks.