Gerontology is a field of study which deals with aging and how it impacts individuals socially, psychologically and physically. In today’s society, in which the aging population is increasing rapidly in many countries including Canada, having professionals working in this field of study is of the upmost importance.
As people age, their bodies subsequently change and their need for medical attention generally becomes more frequent in nature. Through aging, an individual's body becomes less resilient to fighting illnesses. Age-related illnesses are a common reality for the aging population and thus, gerontology can aid in providing stronger healthcare for individuals so that they can live longer, healthier lives. For example, having knowledge that the population is aging can result in governmental action to increase the number of nursing homes or healthcare facilities in areas in which there is a high proportion of older individuals.
Gerontology includes a wide range of professions. These include social workers, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and many more. Researchers are imperative to this field, as are government workers and social science professionals. Research is essential for studying and understanding how people change as they age. For example, fully understanding the genetics of the aging process will provide insight on the behaviour of cells in the human body. This will allow healthcare professionals and researcher's to better care for the current and future aging populations.
Evidently, gerontology is a multi-disciplinary field which requires knowledge in a wide range of studies. As the world population continually increases and life spans become longer, the number of individuals likely to reach higher ages will increase. Thus, invested research in the field of gerontology is essential.