Gerontology Course

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What is the study of gerontology?

A gerontology course is the study of aging and older adults. Peoples ever lengthening life expectancy has seen the study of gerontology evolve over the last number of years. People who specialise in this field are from many varied backgrounds and are diversly trained in areas such as physiology, social science, psychology, public health, and policy. 

According to the Institute of Gerontology, a more complete definition of gerontology includes all of the following:‘Scientific studies of processes associated with the bodily changes from middle age through later life;Multidisciplinary investigation of societal changes resulting from an aging population and ranging from the humanities (e.g., history, philosophy, literature) to economics; andApplications of this knowledge to policies and programs.’

Why Study Gerontology?

Students of  gerontology, will gain a greater understanding of the aging process and everything that goes along with that. There are many applications for a qualification in this field. From working in governmental departments, nursing homes, management, social work and medical practice. It can also be of benefit to those who just wish to gain a greater understanding of the aging process in order to help or assist elderly loved ones or aging partners or relatives. 

Who should study gerontology?

A qualification in gerontology  is ideal for anyone who might be seeking a career as the owner or manager of a nursing home, supervisor or directors of clinical care practices, clinical nurses, nurse management, community and social care workers, or those with an interest in care of the older adult. 

What can I do with this qualification?

Depending on where your interest lies, the students of gerontology have many options available to them upon completion of a qualification. Students who have an interest in working with the older population may consider options beyond traditional positions in healthcare and human services. There are many emerging fields of study, research and practice  such as segmented marketing and advertising which is specifically targeted  at the aging population. People with a qualification in gerontology would have an edge in this field.  Gerontology programs also explore the impact of an aging population on society. The knowledge that students gain from learning about these issues helps give them a more compassionate outlook..

Other job roles open to employees with gerontology backgrounds include but are not limited to:

  • Social Service Worker
  • Lifestyle Assistant
  • Assisted Living Director
  • Resident Services Coordinator
  • Staff Development Coordinator
  • Health and Wellness Director
  • Case Manager

Studies have shown that many caregivers of elderly relatives are middle aged, and as a result of this fact, many families are planning ahead and exploring options for how to aid their loved ones, and allow them to  stay in their homes with necessary support. This change in situation for many families has given rise to a growing field of focus  on gerontology.  The staggering differences amongst the aging population, even those who occupy the same age group, illustrates the need and demand for further study in the field of gerontology. Career opportunities will be driven by these needs.

There are a number of gerontology courses available across the country. 

To find a gerontology course near you go to

Aoife Read

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