In general, gerontology involves the study of aging and the elderly. This includes scientific studies of the processes related to the changes that occur in the body after middle age and the multidisciplinary examination of changes in society that happen because of an aging population, according to the Institute of Gerontology. Individuals who are interested in learning more or are considering a gerontology degree could get more information from some of the websites listed below.
The American Geriatrics Society
The AGS is a professional, not-for-profit organization with about 6,000 active health care members who are committed to improving the health and well-being of older people. Its focus is advocating for and implementing programs in patient care, professional and public education, public policy and research to provide leadership and shape attitudes and practices in the health care industry. The AGS website offers links to resources for the general public to learn more about health in aging and for health care professionals to obtain information about courses and conferences to further their education as well as board certification and fellowship training requirements.
The Gerontological Society of America
The GSA is a nonprofit organization that was established in 1945 and has 5,500 members from more than 50 countries with careers in the field of aging. Its main goals are to advance gerontology around the world and to spread information among decision makers, the general public and scientists. The GSA provides educators, policymakers, practitioners and researchers with opportunities to advance, integrate, understand and use applied and fundamental aging research to improve the quality of life of older adults. Anyone can access its gerontology news archive, which contains articles with information on aging, related legislation and statistics from surveys.
Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
As the educational unit of the GSA since 1999, the AGHE is the key national organization that provides gerontology support for higher-education administrators, students and teachers. More than 160 domestic and international educational institutions are members of the association, and all of these institutions offer education, research and training programs in the field of aging. The AGHE website provides access to a wide range of directories and publications for gerontology in higher education, including curriculum topics and support. It also contains policy information, a national database of gerontology programs and a forum for debating issues such as gerontology advancement, educating society on aging and opportunities for older adults to receive education.
National Association of Geriatric Education Centers
The NAGEC is a nonprofit organization that trains hundreds of thousands of geriatrics and gerontology professionals to serve aging adults better. This training is facilitated through its 45 Geriatric Education Centers members and 13 fellowship programs in geriatric medicine, dentistry, and behavioral and mental health. Career development is also funded with 68 Geriatric Academic Career Awards for junior faculty. The NAGEC is dedicated to improving the diversity, distribution, education, supply and quality of health professionals that serve older people. Its website features a resources section with education and evaluation tools and external links to other websites that offer further information about geriatrics and gerontology.
National Institute on Aging
The NIA was founded in 1974 and is an organization within the National Institutes of Health, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a key federal funding agency for research in the field of aging, it is at the forefront of research that aims to support the health and well-being of older people to extend their active years of life. The NIA’s research covers a variety of areas such as basic cellular changes in the body and the behavioral, biomedical and social characteristics of health conditions related to aging. Its website is a great source of information about gerontology research initiatives and statistics.
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Individuals can make plans for later in their lives when they understand gerontology. Additionally, demand for gerontology professionals is expected to increase alongside a population that is estimated to double in age by 2050. This makes getting a gerontology degree a valuable asset for a medical career.