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What is gerontology?

Gerontology is a scientific field of research that focuses on various aspects of aging. Gerontology covers traditional medical aspects of aging, such as physical and mental conditions, along with social, cultural, and psychological effects on humans as we get older. Gerontology is a broad field that encompasses all of these aspects; geriatrics is a more defined field that focuses on only the medical aspects of aging.

Gerontology uses many approaches to gather actionable data. Some gerontologists may study aging individuals on a one-by-one basis to understand what is happening to them regarding various aspects of their lives. Others may take the approach of investigating the effects that aging individuals have on the people around them and/or society as a whole.

Why is gerontology important in healthcare?

In a healthcare setting, aging individuals are generally more prone to experience health complications than younger individuals are. Therefore, dedicating time and resources to the specific challenges of aging individuals can help provide better care to the patients who are most likely to need it.

Additionally, gerontology covers non-medical facets of aging, such as how aging individuals fit into society as a whole. By studying, analyzing, and acting upon this type of data, gerontologists can improve the overall quality of life for aging individuals, leading to lower healthcare expenses as a result of reduced stress, isolation, and other undesirable lifestyle attributes.