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Gerontology, not to be confused with geriatics, is the study of the social, psychological, and biological aspects of aging. In simpler terms, gerontology is the study of growing old. As people grow older, they begin to face a variety of new health problems and medical conditions due to weakening tissues, muscles, and bones. Our autoimmune systems also tend to dimish with age making us more susceptible to infection and disease. Elderly individuals have a greater likelihood of suffering from diabetes, back pain, heart disease, eye problems, arthritis, and dimentia.

In addition to physical ailments, the elderly often suffer from mental health conditions that require both medical and psychological therapies. Emotional trauma due to lose of loved ones, dealing with health problems, and depression are also common.

Gerontologists encompass an array of professionals which include biologists, nurses, doctors, dentists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, researchers and public health specialists. While the job description for each of these professionals differs, they all have one thing in common. They work to improve the quality of life for the elderly.

Researchers project that by 2030 over 70 million Americans will be age 65 or older. As our population of elderly grows and average life expectancy increases, the need for gerontogists is only going get greater. There are numerous career opportunities for nurses, doctors, counselors, therapists, and other healthcare professionals who position themselves for a career in gerontology.

Gerontology careers:
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Psychologists specialize in analyzing human behavior and brain function. They study all features of human experience, including child development, cognitive function, and human relationships. Psychology offers a wide array of career opportunities.

Salary: $30,000 - $78,654

Education: 4 - 8 Years (beyond high school)

Job Outlook: Excellent

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