Aging is a normal part of life, and it can be difficult to appreciate this fact in a society obsessed with halting or delaying it. Sickness and well-being, as well as wrinkles and gray hair, will all play an increasingly significant role in the lives of those we care about as we age.
What Is the Gerontology?
Gerontology is a vast field that examines all aspects of human aging in great depth, resulting in a wealth of new information. People who specialize in the study of aging and its effects on the mind, body, emotions, social interactions, and psychological well-being are known as gerontologists. Gerontology examines every aspect of the aging process, which means that no part of a person’s life is unaffected. Gerontologists are experts in the study of aging, as well as in the development of healthy strategies for dealing with the inevitable changes that come with aging.
How can I become a gerontologist?
Many different routes lead to a career in gerontology at first. Psychology, sociology, nutrition, nursing, and social work are all excellent bachelor’s degree options. Some degree programs offer a gerontology-specific degree if you are certain that gerontology is where you want to land. For many entry-level positions in health care or research, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient. A master’s degree in gerontology (or an associated field like social work or healthcare administration) provides students with far more career options and earning potential than an undergraduate degree.
What Is the Purpose of a Gerontologist?
Research gerontology, applied gerontology, social gerontology, or administrative gerontology are the most common specializations for gerontologists.
Elderly individuals’ quality of life is an ultimate goal of research gerontology. Many researchers in gerontology are interested in learning more about how aging affects the human body, such as why some people have more gray hair than others or how to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Multidisciplinary studies of the impact of aging on society can be conducted by researchers from a variety of fields including economics, health, and the arts. Research gerontologists are also involved in applying their knowledge to society; their research is essential to modifying existing programs and policies.
Practitioners of applied gerontology assist the elderly in their homes and communities. Applied gerontology and geriatrics have a lot in common, as both specialize in the treatment of the physiological and biological effects of aging. Nursing, physician care, occupational therapy care, or simple transportation, meal assistance, or companionship are all examples of these jobs. Therapists who specialize in geriatric mental health issues may be able to help older adults with emotional and mental health issues. For those in applied gerontology fields, the results of gerontology research and the decisions of administrative gerontologists can have a direct impact on their work.
Social Gerontology: Advocacy for the elderly is also an important part of gerontology. So-called “society gerontologists” work to reframe society’s view of older people while also helping older people to overcome some of their own social norms (like the healthcare system, education, volunteerism, housing, etc.).
In the field of applied gerontology, administrative gerontologists are in charge of implementing and overseeing the programs. Most administrative gerontologists are “health service managers,” who are directly involved in the running of assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and adult day-care centers for the elderly. These individuals must be able to manage staff, foster teamwork, and develop and implement policies and procedures.
There is a lot of overlap between the various gerontology specializations (and careers in geriatrics). Each system is frequently affected by the events in the other systems. If you work in an elderly care facility, you’re likely to find yourself dealing with administrative, social, and applied gerontology at the same time.
Careers in Gerontology
The following is a list of possible careers in gerontology and/or geriatrics. For this reason, careers in both fields are listed. Please keep in mind that the qualifications for employment at each of these companies vary.
- Licensed practical nurse
- A social worker for the elderly
- Psychiatrist for the Elderly
- Managers of the elderly
- The Director of Customer Service.
- A nursing home director
- Graduate Student Research Assistant
- Director of Residency Services
- Nurses in the Home
Gerontology Has the Fastest-Growing Fields
Research into aging and how it affects society has been around for some time now. Career opportunities in this field will continue to rise as we live longer and healthier lives. According to a Master’s in Public Health, here are the top five fastest-growing gerontology careers.
- A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is another name for an eldercare specialist (CNA). This job does not require a bachelor’s degree.
- These people are involved in the advocacy of the elderly, as discussed above.
- There are many different types of geriatrics healthcare specialists, including doctors and nurses who specialize in caring for the elderly.
- Experts in the field of elder law are involved in a wide range of issues affecting the elderly, such as workplace accommodations, health care coverage, and financial planning.
- Management of people, financial decisions, and compliance with federal regulations are all handled by assisted living directors.
What Do Gerontologists Make?
Those interested in a career in gerontology have a wide range of options in terms of both employment and education. Salary levels vary widely due to the wide range of options available. The location of one’s job and the level of one’s education and experience have a significant impact on one’s pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following is a list of median salaries for some of the specific careers discussed in this article in 2018.
- $71,730 for an RN.
- $28,530 CNA
- 49.570 dollars per week as a social worker
- Director of Assisted Living: $99,730
- $65,320 for the case manager
You should be proud of yourself for choosing to work with the elderly community. Often overlooked, but with a wealth of wisdom and life experience to share with us all. As a member of this community, there are many ways for you to spend your time with them in meaningful and rewarding manner.
For Laura Mansfield,
Sacred Heart University’s Master of Science in Nursing
North Seattle Community College offers an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN).
The University of Washington offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Sales (Seattle)
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