Gerontology : An Umbrella Term Covering A Wide Range Of Professions
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Gerontology is an umbrella term covering a wide range of professions that study various aspects of aging including social, psychological, cognitive and biological. Unlike geriatrics, a more familiar term that most associate with aging, gerontology is concerned specifically with the social, psychosomatic and biological facets of aging. It is the study of aging across the lifespan, while geriatrics is focused on the aging process amongst only older adults and is associated with internal medicine. Gerontology might predict life expectancy, while the purpose of geriatrics is to improve the life expectancy of older people through an understanding and promotion of good health. A gerontologist, then, is a health care specialist whose work focusses on the effects of aging.
Gerontologists are concerned with four area of aging:
1) Chronological aging which is focussed on the years a person has lived since they were born
2) Biological aging meaning the physical changes a person experiences throughout their lifespan
3) Psychological aging which refers to emotional, perceptual, cognitive and adaptive changes
4) Social aging which covers the changes in relationship and roles within the family and the productive roles of individuals with organizations they might be connected to.
Gerontologists work in a variety of environments including long-term care facilities, clinical practice, counselling centres, hospice services, home health care services, research communities and government