Singapore University of Social Sciences

Ageing Families: Multigenerational and Cultural Issues

Ageing Families: Multigenerational and Cultural Issues (GER508)


GER508 Ageing Families: Multigenerational and Cultural Issues aims to stimulate students’ knowledge and understanding of the importance of social and cultural diversity among ageing populations from a sociocultural perspective. A broad perspective is encouraged so that the students can compare Singapore with other countries. As societies mature, the customized approach would bear greater gains not only for the older population, but also policy makers and service providers in terms of savings and economical usage of resources. Focus is placed on ageing families, intergenerational relationships, controversial issues that often lead to family tensions, and common situations of employed caregivers who may be from other countries and cultures. The course will enhance students’ awareness and skills in identifying strains and communication breakdowns between family members, use of the systemic framework of analysis, and solution-seeking in collaboration with family members. The practical component of the course consists of techniques of working with multigenerational ageing families and of cultural competency skills. Teaching tools such as role play and videos will be utilized.

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


  • Ageing societies across the world: from the cultural lens
  • Sociological perspective on ageing families: family development theory
  • Concepts in Ethno-gerontology
  • Caregivers of ‘other’ cultures e.g. foreign domestic workers/nurses
  • Skills in cultural competency and conflict resolution
  • Case study discussion
  • Examining culture in policies
  • Examining service delivery through the socio-cultural lens
  • What are the current pressing challenges faced by Singaporean Ageing families?
  • Guest lecture by an expert on sociological aspects of ageing families
  • The ageing experience in multicultural social contexts
  • Challenges facing professionals working with complex ageing families

Learning Outcome

  • Analyse and explain the role of socially and culturally diverse populations in shaping policies and services.
  • Differentiate knowledge of various cultures in the process of helping ageing families.
  • Relate values, knowledge, skills of gerontological practice to ethnic competent practice.
  • Improve cultural competency skills in gerontological practice.
  • Design multi-cultural and intergenerational programmes.
  • Apply family development theory to solve issues of multi-problem, ageing families.
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