Singapore University of Social Sciences

Counselling Older Persons

Counselling Older Persons (COU252)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Social Services

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: S R Nathan School of Human Development


This course provides students with the knowledge of aging-related issues such as physical, psychological and social changes which will affect their well-being in their late life. In addition, students will be equipped with essential knowledge on common psychiatric disorders such as depression and dementia, which are not uncommon in old age. It will present the different counselling approaches that can be used on older persons, as well as discussions on the type of approaches for older persons who receive different types of care services. Examples include Reminiscence Therapy and Group Therapy, which will benefit older adults residing in institutions, and the ECADIT model, based on the problem-solving approach, will benefit those older adults attending day-care programmes. This course will also equip students with the use of appropriate comprehensive assessment tools when counselling older adults. This will help students to gain a better understanding of the challenges older persons face, and thus help to develop an appropriate intervention or care plan for them. Topic on Self-awareness will provide opportunities for students to examine and reflect on their attitudes and values/beliefs, when providing counselling for the older persons.

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JAN


  • Awareness of Self and Values
  • The Biopsychosocial Changes in Ageing and Implications for Counselling
  • Theories of Ageing - Disengagement Theory, Activity Theory, Continuity Theory, Theory of Integration, Erikson's Theory
  • Loss and Grief in Older Persons
  • Elder Suicide
  • Elder Abuse
  • Sexuality and Ageing
  • Spirituality and and Ageing
  • Common Counselling Approaches for Older Persons - Integrative, Psychodynamic, Person-Centred, Behavioural, Cognitive, Life-Review/Reminiscence, Gero-Family
  • The ECADIT Model for Counselling Older Persons
  • Assessment Tools - Assessing the biological, psychological and sociological systems

Learning Outcome

  • Understand self-awareness and one’s values when counselling older persons
  • Describe the biopsychosocial changes affecting the older persons, and understand theories of aging
  • Understand some special issues in late life, e.g. suicide, abuse, sexuality, spirituality and grief, etc.
  • Identify and apply counselling approaches and techniques to counsel older persons
  • Apply the locally developed ECADIT model to counsel older persons
  • Identify and apply appropriate assessment instrument/s to obtain more objective data about client’s condition, and the types of relevant community services
  • Develop micro-skills, including appropriate self-disclosure skills
  • Develop communication and presentation skills
  • Develop problem-solving, critical and creative thinking skills, and propose constructive strategies to address real-life issues of older persons
  • Conduct a gero-counselling session
  • Use appropriate assessment tools for assessing various conditions or risks of older persons
  • Identify relevant community services for older persons
Back to top
Back to top