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Today we are faced with an aging population. As the baby boomers start to reach retirement age, there is an increasing need to understand the impact that increased numbers of people over 65 will have on our society. Gerontology is the study of an aging population and the way that society can deal with the effects of this demographic trend.

Medical Aspects
There are three major areas gerontology that you can create a career in. The first is the medical aspects of old age. Age-related diseases are just beginning to be understood, as the mean age of the population rises, and many of the preventable diseases are in the process of being eradicated. Specialisation in gerontology for doctors and nurses is an area in increasing demand.

Social Aspects
You may be interested in the social aspects of gerontology. Older people need care, but often families are not arranged in such a way to give this care easily. The burden therefore falls on other institutions, and in arranging retirement to make sure that care is available when it is needed. Studying sociology, psychology and other social administrative subjects can lead you to a career in this area of gerontology.

Economic and Political Aspects
The economic impact of an older population is not entirely understood, although they are beginning to be felt. Not only does this trend mean that there are less people earning money within our society, spending patterns change, and so political patterns change as well. You could contribute to research in these areas, helping to understand the changes and formulate policy to make sure that these changes are dealt with in an appropriate way.

Publish date: February 10, 2011