Caregiving Curricula

Faculty and clinical instructors play a critical role in the professional socialization of undergraduate and graduate students. The socialization process influences the attitudes, values, knowledge, and skills of students (Goldenberg & Iwasiw, 1993). Exposing students to caregiving topics can help them understand how caregiving impacts all parts of the lifecycle.

Existing Curricula

Caregiving can be infused into an existing psychology course or into multiple sections of an existing course. For example in a course on the psychology of aging, older adults’ sensory, physical and cognitive impairments, could be studied in terms of the demands for care they place upon family members. A caregiving lecture could also be incorporated into a course in developmental psychology to demonstrate how caregiving may impact children, adults, and families.

Caregiving is a relevant topic for courses on:

  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Behavioral Psychology
  • Child Development
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Current Issues in Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Family Therapy
  • Gender Roles
  • Health Psychology
  • Military Psychology or Psychology of War
  • Neurocognitive Assessment and Treatment
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Pediatric Psychology
  • Psychology and Aging
  • Psychology of Diversity
  • School or Educational Psychology
  • Work and Family

Reference

Goldenberg, D. & Iwasiw, C. (1993) Professional socialization of students as an outcome of a senior clinical preceptorship experience. Nurse Education Today. 13, 13–15.

New Curricula

Courses specifically on caregiving can be developed. For example, Dr. William Haley, a psychology professor at the University of South Florida, created a graduate course on caregiving, entitled “Family Caregiving in Aging and Chronic Illness”. A sample syllabus can be found online. This course is also available as a web-based course for graduate credit at the University of South Florida.

Caregiving Lectures

A caregiving lecture could include the following topics:

  • The Mental and Physical Health of Caregivers
  • Health and Financial Costs of Caregiving
  • Family Burden and Communication
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Caregiving in Military Families: Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs
  • End-Of-Life Issues
  • Interviews with Caregivers
  • Positive Aspects of Caregiving

Reference

Goldenberg, D. & Iwasiw, C. (1993) Professional socialization of students as an outcome of a senior clinical preceptorship experience. Nurse Education Today. 13, 13–15.

Workshops

Faculty may also present workshops in their local communities for caregivers on how to take care of their loved ones in a sustainable fashion. Workshops can educate caregivers on topics such as:

  • Assisting with Activities of Daily Living
  • Avoiding Burnout
  • Balancing Caregiving Duties with Other Family Roles
  • Caring for Older Adults with Dementia
  • Challenges of Parenting a Chronically Ill Child
  • Educational Options for Children with Disabilities
  • Emotional and Legal Tasks of Preparing for End of Life
  • Financial Planning
  • How to Deal with a Loved One’s Behavioral Problems
  • How to Develop an Effective Family Caregiving Plan
  • How to Get the Most From Your Loved One’s Medical Visit
  • How to Recruit Siblings and Other Relatives for a Caregiving Plan
  • Self-Care for Caregivers
  • Time Management
  • Understanding Neurocognitive Assessment

Reference

Goldenberg, D. & Iwasiw, C. (1993) Professional socialization of students as an outcome of a senior clinical preceptorship experience. Nurse Education Today. 13, 13–15.