Singapore University of Social Sciences

Counselling on Ageing Family Issues

Counselling on Ageing Family Issues (COU258)

Applications Open: 01 May 2024

Applications Close: 15 June 2024

Next Available Intake: July 2024

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1391.78

Area of Interest: Social Services

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: S R Nathan School of Human Development


COU258 Counselling for Ageing Family Issues aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to function as family counsellors working with older clients and their families. The course content covers the equipping of social service professionals, including counsellors, with the knowledge and skills to provide support for the elderly and their families. As the needs and issues of older persons are specialised and cross-disciplinary in nature, it is critical to study it from a biopsychosocial approach. Hence, apart from medical issues, legal, social and emotional aspects of the elderly are discussed in the contexts of the family and the wider community

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


  • Understanding the living context of the older person
  • Mental Capacity Act; role of Public Guardians; Professional Deputies and Donees Scheme; Whistleblowing process
  • Common family disputes arising from working elderly persons who lack mental capacity
  • Issues related to divorce at older age – loneliness, isolation
  • Common intergenerational issues and conflicts in the local context
  • Key approaches to family therapy with older persons
  • Family mediation theories and interventions for dispute resolution
  • Different types of caregivers and the specific challenges they face
  • Managing dynamics between the elderly, family and caregivers from different cultures
  • Forms of stress faced by caregivers and tools to assess caregiver stress
  • Counselling resources and support for caregivers
  • Self-care techniques and strategies for caregivers

Learning Outcome

  • Explain the range of experiences and challenges faced by the elderly and develop informed and robust intervention plans.
  • Describe the Mental Capacity Act, the role of the Public Guardians, and the Professional Deputies and Donees Scheme.
  • Identify family disputes that could arise from the care of the person who lacks mental capacity, and other common family-related issues and sources that result in disputes.
  • Discuss common challenges, needs of caregivers and available resources to support them.
  • Apply suitable counselling and mediation approaches for addressing and resolving family disputes.
  • Demonstrate skills in employing tools to measure and assess caregiver stress, and implement intervention plans to address caregiver stress.
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