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Learn more about gerontology and aged care. Valuable learning for career development or retraining.

As our population is ageing, there are more job vacancies available in the care of the elderly. Studying Aged Care And Counselling will provide you with a foundation to retrain or improve your knowledge of aged care to improve your job prospects.

Through your studies you will:

  • Gain an understanding of the ageing process and how it can affect individuals.
  • Learn about the changing nature of relationships as people age.
  • Learn about how depression can affect the elderly.
  • Develop an understanding about changes in physicality as people age.
  • Learn how to seek and provide support.
  • Learn about common risks, and how to manage them.
  • Develop an understanding of possible health problems.
  • Study loss, and how to support people through grief.

This course is suitable for anyone who would like to work with older people or who would like to improve their knowledge of elderly care, such as

  • Carers.
  • Care workers.
  • Support workers.
  • Rehabilitation workers.
  • Occupational therapists.
  • Physiotherapists.
  • Doctors.
  • Nurses.
  • Family members, and more.



  • Aged Care And Counselling is a 100 hour course which you study by distance learning.
  • The course is available to start at any time, and you study at your own pace.
  • You will be supported by experienced tutors for the duration of your studies.
  • The course comprises 9 lessons, as shown below.

Lesson 1. Understanding Ageing

  • What do we mean by Ageing? (Population Ageing. The Effects of the Ageing Population.)
  • Theories of Human Development. (Erikson's Theory of Development. Levinson.)
  • Theories of Retirement. (Disengagement Theory. Activity Theory. Atchley's Model of Retirement. Retirement Counselling.)

Lesson 2. Lifestyle Changes

  • Retirement. (Relationships. Relationships with Children. Relationships with Partners/Husband/wife. Widowhood/Disruption of Marriage/Life Partnership Due to Death. Relationships with Grandchildren. Friendships. Sexuality and Older People.)
  • Cognitive Changes - Intelligence.
  • Depression. (Determining Type of Depression. Unipolar Disorder. Bipolar Disorder. Features of Depression. Causes of Depression. Risk factors for Depression. Men and Depression. Depression and Older People. Symptoms. Suicide Risk and the Elderly.)

Lesson 3. Deterioration of Health

  • Ageing. (Physical Changes. Sex.)
  • Chronic Health Problems. (Osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Incontinence. Problems with Eyes. Deafness.)
  • Factors in Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle into Old Age.
  • Human Nutrition. (Important Factors in Nutrition.)
  • Pain Relief.
  • Medication.
  • Stress. (Consequences of Stress. Stress and the Immune System.)
  • Personality and Heart Disease. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Ulcers. Ways to Stay Healthy.)

Lesson 4. Support Services

  • Preventative Services.
  • Professionals Involved in Supporting Older People. (Occupational Therapists. Physiotherapists. Complimentary Practitioners. Aids to Communication.)
  • Alternative Treatments.
  • Counselling Professionals. (Role of the Counsellor. Counselling and the Elderly. Group Therapy. Online and Telephone Counselling.)
  • Other Support Services (Meals on Wheels. Funeral Services).

Lesson 5. Enablement Techniques

  • Common Risks for Elderly. (Risk of Falling. Vision.Hearing. Nutrition. Sexuality.)
  • Techniques to maintain quality of life. (Driving a car. Banking. Shopping. House cleaning. Gardening. Socialising. Pets. Exercise and Sport.)
  • Rehabilitation. (Specific Types of Rehabilitation.)

Lesson 6. Grief and Loss Counselling

  • What is Grief.
  • Psychological Aspects of Long Term Grief. (Family, Work, Financial, Loneliness. Psychosocial Factors.)
  • Grief Counselling.
  • Counsellors Response and Intervention.
  • Depression.

Lesson 7. Debilitating and Terminal Illness

  • Dementia.
  • Kinds of Dementia. (Alzheimer's Disease. Vascular Dementia.)
  • Strategies for Counselling a Demented Client. (Communication. Daily Activities. Dealing with Sleeping Difficulties. Hallucinations and Delusions. Wandering. Depression.)
  • Terminal Illness. (Patient's Response. Anxiety. Depression. Guilt or Anger. Defense Mechanisms.)
  • Preparing for Approaching Death. (Practical Preparations. Emotional Reponses of the Dying. Responses of Family and Friends.)

Lesson 8. Losing a Loved One

  • The Importance of Loss. (Assessment. History of Loss. Role of the Deceased. Death of a Child. Stigmatised Death. Co-Morbidity.)
  • Counselling Strategies. (Therapeutic Writing. Bibliotherapy. The Use of Rituals. Bereavement Support Groups.)
  • Special Therapeutic Considerations. (Traumatic, Sudden, and Stigmatised Loss. On-going Support. Social Stigmas of Suicide.)

Lesson 9. Ethics and Intervention

  • Barriers to Aged Care Counselling. (Addressing the Client’s Needs.)
  • Common Legal and Ethical Issues in Aged Care. (Decision Making Capacity. Competence. Informed Consent. Confidentiality. Euthenasia. Multicultural Differences.)

Each lesson is completed with an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.



Students studying Aged Care And Counselling will undertake a variety of tasks in each lesson; learning aims for the course include:

  • To discuss theories of ageing, and to develop an understanding of the different stages of human development.
  • To describe the psychological impact of changes which occur as a person reaches old age.
  • To understand the effect of physical health problems on older people.
  • Describe the nature and scope of support services, including counselling, for the elderly.
  • Describe a range of solutions that can enable an elderly person to adapt to changed circumstances in order to continue performing tasks or pursuing interests that are becoming increasingly difficult for them.
  • Explain how a variety of counselling techniques can be applied to specific Grief and loss situations for counselling elderly persons.
  • Develop a strategy for counselling an elderly person who has been diagnosed with a debilitating or terminal illness.
  • Develop a strategy for counselling an elderly person who has lost a loved one.
  • Determine when and how to intervene in the life of an elderly person


People Change when they Get Old

Growing old is both natural and unavoidable. Everyone gets older, and as you age, you change both physically and mentally. 

  • Understanding these changes can help an older person to accept and adapt to what is happening to them.
  • An understanding of these changes can help carers provide better support for the elderly.

Cognitive changes are only one area of change for the Elderly
Older people may fear ageing because they fear that they will ‘lose’ their intellect, leading to cognitive impairment and irrational behaviour. However, intellectual decline is not an inevitable consequence of a person ageing. Research shows that a loss of general cognitive function does not necessarily occur as a result of ageing, and even where it does occur, it is not necessarily disruptive. Older adults will:

  • Tend to learn more slowly.
  • Perform less well than younger adults on tasks that involve memorizing something or using imagination.
  • But they will make up for this in terms of their practical knowledge based on life experience.

Older adults sometimes complain about not being able to remember things as well as they did when they were younger. This appears to be due to sensory storage problem in the short term memory rather than long term memory processes. This will result in older people finding it harder to remember new names and places than they do in remembering older names and places.

Repetition and practice and can help minimize memory decline and the reduction in other cognitive functions. Older adults can improve their scores in memory ability tests after only a few hours training. Examples of activities that can help make a difference to the cognitive and memory functions of older adults include:

  • Having hobbies
  • Learning to use a computer
  • Working on puzzles and crosswords
  • Reading
  • Learning new things.

Over recent years, there has been an increased interest from older adults in continuing their education. Many colleges and community centres will offer classes for older people. This shows that older people are willing and able to continue learning.

A depressive disorder is an illness, involving mood, body and thoughts. It affects the way a person sleeps, eats, feels about themselves and other things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing sad mood, nor is it a sign of personal weakness that the person can push away. People with depressive illnesses cannot just ‘pull themselves together’, they need treatment and support, which can last for weeks, months or years.

The three most common forms of depression are: 

  1. Unipolar or Major Depression: where the person has a combination of symptoms that interfere with their ability to enjoy life, sleep, eat, study and work. This type of depression may occur only once or several times during a life time.
  2. Dysthymia: is a less severe type of depression, with long-term chronic symptoms that do not disable, but which prevent the person from feeling good or from functioning well. They may also experience major depressive episodes at some point during their lives.
  3. Bipolar Disorder: is also called manic-depressive illness. Bipolar disorder is characterised by cycling mood changes of severe highs (mania) and lows (depression). If untreated, it can deteriorate into a psychotic state.


Student Tesimonials

"[Work marked] promptly and with comments that show detailed reading of my work. I have been impressed by the quick turn-around time and the feedback Having the course structured into 9 lessons has been helpful for me in approaching the course and fitting it into a busy schedule. I have been learning a great deal and receiving constructive feedback."

Deana Efraemson - Aged Care And Counselling course.

"Yes it was [a valuable learning experience]. I have been a nurse for over 25 years and my knowledge regarding ageing and in particular, healthy ageing was practically non-existent. I enjoyed some aspects of the counselling."

Sue Payne, Aged Care And Counselling course.


Develop your knowledge to apply in the real world

This course aims to develop your understanding of the ageing process, and your ability to help others cope more effectively with aged people in their lives.

  • It is designed to be useful for counselling and other care professions or anyone involved with elderly people in any other way, formally or informally.  
  • The course is an excellent way to improve your support of older people and as a way to improve your career prospects.  
  • Gain an excellent start to the process of retraining or improving your career prospects with this course. It is potentially beneficial to a variety of roles including - Carers,
    Care workers, Support workers, Rehabilitation workers, Occupational therapists, Physiotherapists, Doctors, and Nurses.
  • Study with support from our experienced tutors.


Ready to Enrol?

You can start the course at any time, so why not enrol today? Just go to the top of this page and select your payment and learning methods.

Do you need Advice?

If you have any questions or need help in deciding if this is the right course for your goals and aspirations, please get in touch with us - use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE to contact a tutor.

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Elderly care training – study this aged care and counselling course for professional development.

  • Learn the fundamentals of how to care for the elderly.
  • Learn about lifestyle and physical changes that the elderly face.
  • Study grief and loss counselling.

We live in an ageing population. Aged Care is developing into an essential service - whether in a professional or personal capacity.

  • Study this course for professional development, as a way onto a new career path, or to gain a deeper understanding about how you can help your loved ones.

Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Miriam ter BorgPsychologist, Youth Worker, Teacher, Author and Natural Therapist. Miriam was previously an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor, Youth Worker, Surfing College Program Coordinator, Massage Therapist, Business Owner/Manager. Miriam's qualifications include B.Sc.(Psych), DipRem.Massage, Cert Ourdoor Rec.
Lyn Quirk M.Ed.,Dip.Med.,Dip.SportsOver 35 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Gavin Cole B.Sc.,M.Psych.Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Gavin has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. He has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Gavin joined ACS in 2001.

Check out our eBooks

Working With PeopleAre you a "people person" looking for a job; or a better understanding of careers that might suit you? If so, this book was written for YOU!
The Brain and BehaviourThe Brain and Behaviour ebook provides a fascinating insight into the functions of the human brain. From understanding the human brain, human anatomy & behaviour, chemistry, brain damage and memory, this ebook is an interesting read and also a great reference for students of biology, biopsychology or psychology.
Family & Relationships CounsellingThe Family and Relationships Counselling ebook is an informative and helpful read for anyone who wants to improve their relationships or even help other people improve or nurture their own relationships.
Counselling HandbookA book for both students, as well as volunteers who may be involved in helping people with problems. This is a starting point for understanding counselling, and a reference for developing counselling skills. The book contains seven chapters: 1. Where can counselling be used 2. How to see behind the mask 3. Emotions and attitudes 4. How to communicate better when all you have is words 5. Theory versus practice 6. Diffusing difficult situations 7. Golden rules or tips