The concept of supply and demand works well in a market economy, and an aging population creates a demand for nurses to earn MSN degrees with a specialty in GERONTOLGY. The population of elderly people in the United States is increasing more rapidly than the general population, according to the New York Times.. The baby boom created the biggest generation in U.S. history, and it is rapidly approaching age 65. Nurses who specialize in gerontology study the social, mental and physical aspects of aging that affect the quality of life for more than 35 million Americans.
Adapting to Social Aspects of Aging
Older people have many of the same social needs as those who are younger, but obtaining them gets more difficult with age. Participating in activities that make create a feeling of self worth is desirable at any age, and having a positive relationship with friends and family is satisfying. Helping the elderly population access essential services, maintain good health, sustain financial security and live in secure housing are some of the challenges that face gerontologists.
Coping with Mental Aspects of Age
Statistics show that about 20 percent of adults over the age of 55 have some kind of mental disorder. Anxiety and panic are common experiences among the elderly, and cognitive impairment from Alzheimer’s disease is a serious matter that confronts many in the older age group.
Mood changes that occur in individuals who have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or depression pose serious challenges for caregivers, and dementia affects as much as 50 percent of residents in nursing homes according to some scientific studies. Gerontologists study the effects of aging, and the demand for understanding the difficulties of aging creates opportunities for professionals who choose to work in the field.
Combating Physical Aspects of Getting Old
Changes to the body usually occur slowly with age, but they affect almost every part eventually. Skin becomes drier, hair thins and turns gray and hearing loss increases after age 55. Most elderly people get shorter by as much as two inches, and changes in vision can create serious problems.
The aging process affects bone structure and increases the risk of injury that results from the onset of osteoporosis. Sleep patterns change, often resulting in the lack of adequate rest and low energy levels. Nurses who earn an MSN with a specialty in GERONTOLOGY study methods that can help an aging population cope with changes that significantly alter daily activities.
Acquiring Effective Training
MSN degrees with a specialty in GERONTOLOGY draw from academic areas that include anthropology and sociology, communication theory and history. Students gain a perspective that encompasses all aspects of the aging process, providing the option to focus on an area that matches personal interests. By incorporating the liberal arts, courses challenge students to integrate theories with practices that can improve the quality of life for aging Americans.
Bette Davis is credited for saying “old age ain’t no place for sissies”, and anyone who approaches age 65 can testify to the accuracy of her statement. Finding alternatives to conditions that pose challenges to aging Americans through the study of GERONTOLOGY is a good specialty for MSN graduates.