Working with the Elderly-Gerontology

A Career in Gerontology

You may be interested in a career where you will work with the elderly. One path you can take in this regard is to study Gerontology. This is the psychological study of how the process of aging affects our lives during the stage of late adulthood. As you can imagine, it is a growing field because people live longer and there are more elders than ever in the US. Your study of elders could include diseseas like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and glaucoma. In addition, there are many psychological and social issues of elders that are studied.

old person and young person holding hands

Gerontology is so important because it is important that we help older individuals cope and understand illnesses that affect them emotionally and physically. The classic example is Alzheimer’s disease. What happens with this disease is the destruction and death of nerve cells. Alzheimer's causes both cognitive and emotional issues such as memory failure, personality changes, and problems carrying out daily activities. Gerontologists need to understand the biological aspects of the disease but the psychological effects as well. Because of the latter, Gerontologists now incorporate clinical counseling into the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. 

two elders with backpacks walking

Interested in becoming a Gerontologist? You typically need a Ph.D., internship experience, and often a postdoctoral fellowship to gain more research experience. It is likely theneed for Gerontologists will increase, given our growing elderly population.

Please note that the comments of Dr. Golding and the others who post on this blog express their own opinion and not that of the University of Kentucky.

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