Families and Aging

Base Knowledge


Teaching Methodologies

The learning process articulates practical classes of active and interactive problem-centered methodologies, with an emphasis on critical reflection on the themes of the program. By:
– Expository Method: In order to support elementary, new and complex theoretical concepts that require an educational approach;
– Critical analysis and active discussion of scientific papers;
– Contact and handling of theoretical and practical tools that promote understanding of the themes;
– Role-playing as an interactive and collaborative teaching technique through which the student develops his/her capacity for critical reflection and self-reflection, interaction and creativity.
Evaluation consists in one tasks/moments: defense/oral presentation of critical analysis of an paper or scientific text.
Exame evaluation: 100% writing test

Learning Results

1. Understand the family as an open system, composed by individuals and the interactions experienced throughout life in common.
2. Recognize and understand the main events and life transitions that occur mainly from the middle-aged and assess their impact on family dynamics as a caregiver or who receive informal care.
3. Understand the specifics associated with the experience of the last stage of the family life cycle as well as the rules and developmental perspective of ageing families.
4. Understand the provision of informal care by family caregivers as a stressor element of the family system.
5. Develop conceptual, inherent systemic approach skills, to understand the individual, the family and other systems.
6. Develop communication skills and assessment and develop intervention practices with older people and their families in institutional and/or community context.


1. The family life cycle as a system that moves over time: enquadrador model.
– Ageing families: specificities of the last stage of family life cycle.
2. Family and informal carer for the elderly: the caregiver experience and the relationship with the care receiver.
– Family care: caregiver and care receiver.
– burnout and other impacts on the family system.
– Assessment tools overload of family caregivers.
– Measures to support family caregivers of the elderly: Social and Community Support; Support group; counseling; psychoeducational interventions with ageing families.
– The caregiver experience as a normative event.
3. Normative and developmental perspective. Family Integrity (vs disconnection and family alienation) in old age.
4. Family diversity: characteristics changes and challenges in the family life cycle (eg. economic scarcity, migration, homosexuality).

Curricular Unit Teachers

Grading Methods

Continuing Evaluation
  • - Scientific Article Critical Analysis - 100.0%
  • - Exam - 100.0%




Bond, J., Sheila, P., Dittmann-kohli, & Westerhof, G. (2007). Ageing in society. SAGE.
Carter, B., & McGoldrick, M. (Eds.). (2005). The expanded family life cycle (2nd ed). Needham Heights: Allyn & Bacon.
Figueiredo, D. (2007). Cuidados familiares ao idoso dependente. Lisboa: Cadernos Climepsi Saúde.
Kart, C., Kinney, J. (2001). The realities of Aging: An introdution to Gerontology. Sixth Edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Marques, F.D. (2013). Famílias envelhecidas: percursos e diversidade. Tese de Doutoramento apresentada à Universidade de Aveiro.
Sousa, L; Patrão, M. & Vicente, H. (2012). Famílias e envelhecimento: o último estádio do ciclo de vida familiar. In C. Paúl & O. Ribeiro (coord.), Manual de Gerontologia. Lisboa: Lidel (pp. 255-272).
Sousa, L. (2009) (editor). Families in Later Life: emerging themes and challenges. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Sousa, L., Figueiredo, D. & Cerqueira, M. (2006). Envelhecer em família: Os cuidados familiares na velhice. Lisboa: Ambar.