The Institute for Integrative is developing innovative, educational programming that supports a variety of learners, from students on campus to older adults in our community. A solid academic foundation coupled with experiential learning will ensure our student body and community workforce is well-equipped to support a rapidly growing aging population.
Regularly scheduled health and wellness seminars geared towards older adults and their family/caregivers on topics such as nutrition, transitions, safety, caregiving, mindfulness, and navigation.
We have created for-credit interdisciplinary courses for our students, along with non-credit courses that will be part of a certificate program that will be available to the community. These courses are centered around the five focus areas of IIA, and will support a holistic approach to healthy aging. Intergenerational collaboration will be a defining and integral component of our programming, allowing for bi-directional learning and mentorship. For more information, please see SJC’s Course Catalog.
Why pursue an Integrative Aging Minor ?
Maine is the oldest state in the nation, with a median age of 44.6 and the population of older adults (60 +) is growing more rapidly than any other age group. It is estimated that 31% of Maine’s population will be over the age of 60 by the year 2030, an increase of 41% from 2012 (Source: US Census Bureau, 2009).
We, as a society, need to be well-equipped to understand the needs of this population and have the skills and tools to support healthy aging. A solid academic foundation that incorporates Integrative Aging into its curriculum, coupled with intergenerational experiential learning, will ensure our student body and community workforce has what it needs to create a healthier, more sustainable population. There is a genuine need for a workforce trained to address the challenges and opportunities related to this demographic shift.
The IIA Minor provides students the opportunity to understand a holistic approach to aging, considering a person’s social, spiritual, physical, intellectual, and creative needs. Students will explore how creativity, wellness promotion, and intergenerational connectivity contributes to increased quality of life and longevity for older adults.
The primary goals of the minor are:
- Acquire basic foundational knowledge in the processes of aging, issues regarding
aging and the opportunities and challenges of older adulthood.
- Understand the interdisciplinary and integrative health practices that give elders the
tools to reach their optimum level of wellness.
- Engage in practical experiences working with older adults.
The minor is designed to enhance a student’s professional marketability by developing
their knowledge of and skills to effectively meet the needs of the aging population in a
wide range of fields.
What can I do with a Minor in Healthy Aging?
Demand will remain high for the health care professions with specialization in
gerontology but there will also be a need for new markets serving older adults with a
specialized focus on:
- Patient Advocacy and Health Coaching (Social Work and Nursing): Health
professionals who encourage positive health behaviors.
- Elder Financial Planning (Business and Law): Finance professionals who serve
aging clients in late-in-life topics such as estate planning and elder law.
- Motivational Wellness (Health Administration and OT/PT): Elective health
professionals such as personal trainers and nutritionists.
- Aging in Place (Architecture and Design): Builders and designers who focus on
senior home remodeling and assistive technologies.