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The Growing Field of Gerontology

 

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gerontologyGerontology is proving to be one of the fastest growing–if not the fastest growing–fields of study in the United States. Look at what this exciting new field is and why making gerontology your field of study or adding gerontology classes to your curriculum will almost certainly benefit your education and earning potential.

Why Gerontology?

The population in the United States is aging. It is not only aging, it is doing it in unprecedented numbers and then living longer on top of that! Between 2000 and 2010, the U.S. total U.S. population grew a little over 9%; furthermore, the population of those over 65 grew at 15%. To put it in graphic terms every day for the last two years and for the next 17 years almost 10,000 people will celebrate their 65th birthday. 79 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 are going to need medical care and other special care. Gerontology is by far the fastest expanding facet of medical care, and employment in general, in the United States. It is up to the students of today to get the education to prepare for this huge demand. One short-term projection says there will be a 36% increase in the demand for professionals trained in some facet of gerontology.

Comparing Geriatricians and Gerontologists

Plainly speaking gerontology is the scientific study of aging. Geriatricians are physicians who specialized in treating the health problems of elderly patients. Gerontologists are multi-disciplinary: including but not limited to medical workers, biologists, psychiatrists and psychologists, and sociologists. Medical workers with education specifically in gerontology would range from caregivers to surgeons; accordingly, Certified Nursing Assistants, EMTs, Paramedics, Physician and Medical Assistants, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and of course, D.O.s and M.D.s. The common goal of gerontologists is improving the quality of life for seniors.

Putting It Together

Given the extreme elderly redistribution of the population, all of the above named fields of employment will have huge demands placed on them in the near future for professionals with education in gerontology.  Professionals trained in gerontology, especially medical professionals, are one of the fastest growing employment opportunities currently and are projected to almost be a professional field without limit soon. Other related careers such as nursing home directors, activity directors, social workers, scientists will all need people with education in gerontology. One interesting new field is that of caregiver coach or director. The task of care-giving is a special one and having someone who has education in the gerontology field can be invaluable.

Other Facets of Gerontology

Other services and industries will soon place a premium on employees with some gerontology education. Financial services, such as banks, are one such example, fitness trainers and teachers, and wellness workers—alternative health workers and life coaches. People working in the travel industry, such as hospitality and transportation, will be another facet of the workforce that will benefit from and place a premium on workers who have some background in gerontology studies. Housing is another employment sector that will provide new chances at employment for person with the proper training, from new construction to planned communities to adaptive remodeling for seniors, all will benefit from someone with some education in gerontology. Research and volunteer management are two other fields that will certainly need a vast number of people with some training in gerontology.

Education and Gerontology

Many Colleges and Universities are now offering certificates in gerontology along with individual gerontology classes. Higher education gerontology degrees include, Associates, Bachelors, Masters, and PhD Whether one is an entrepreneur, changing careers, or starting their higher education, the field of gerontology is a very profitable and rewarding addition to any curriculum.

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Sarah Daren, today’s guest blogger, is a writer who creates informative articles relating to the field of health. In this article, she explains the growing field of gerontology and aims to promote businesses in this industry such as home health care Colorado.

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