What Is Gerontology?
Gerontology is the study of the aging process. 'Gero' is Greek for elders, and 'logy' means 'the study of'. As the aging population increases, gerontology has become a popular area of study. Read on to find out more about gerontology. Schools offering Gerontology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
A Brief Description of Gerontology
According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, www.census.gov, nearly 13% of the U.S. population is over the age of 65. This percentage is expected to grow to nearly 20% over the next 30 years. Gerontology examines the impact of aging on both the individual and society. Gerontologists are dedicated to the mental and social health of aged persons by understanding the biological, psychological and sociological aspects of the aging process. Thus, the three main aspects of gerontology are as follows:
Gerontology and the Physical Body
Gerontology studies the physical effects of aging upon an individual. How and why the body changes as it ages and the impact of these changes are often examined in the study of gerontology. Understanding the physiological and biological changes related to aging can help gerontologists better understand the physical needs and illnesses of the elderly.
Gerontology and Mental Health
The mental health of aged individuals is also studied in gerontology. Many illnesses and diseases of the mind are related to aging and these are addressed in the study of gerontology. The mental effects of aging on the elderly, such as depression, anxiety and cognitive changes that might lead to dementia are closely studied in gerontology.
Social Aspects of Gerontology
The sociological aspects of aging are an important part of any gerontology study. The social impact of caring for the aged population is closely examined by gerontologists. Since aging is a universal process, gerontology studies how different cultures respond and deal with their aging populations. The availability and administration of psychological and nutritional counseling, proper housing and health care facilities for the aged are major areas of study. Gerontologists can help develop social programs and policies which aid senior citizens.
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