cona062507 - Careers in Aging APA Committee on Aging June...

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Unformatted text preview: Careers in Aging APA Committee on Aging June 2007 What Is Gerontology? Study of aging processes across adulthood Encompasses biology/health, psychology, sociology, economics, humanities, public policy (Geriatrics: study of health and disease in old age, medical aspects of aging) As far back as the 1700s, scientists observed that development continues beyond childhood Modern gerontology emerged after WWII, focusing on understanding aging processes and solving aging­related problems An important concern has been reducing myths or stereotypes and emphasizing positive aspects of aging History of Gerontology Aging Myths ... and Facts 1. All older adults have Alzheimer’s disease All older adults are depressed Psychological treatment is ineffective in old age Most old people live in nursing homes Most older adults are preoccupied with thoughts of death 1. Only 10% aged 65+ have memory problems Elders are just as satisfied with life as young adults are Elders benefit from mh treatment as much as young adults do 95% live on their own in the community They are most concerned with staying independent 2. 2. 3. 3. 4. 4. 5. 5. Aging Myths ... and Facts (cont’d.) (cont’d.) 1. Older adults are foolish if interested in sex You can’t teach an old dog new tricks 1. Sexuality is a normal part of life for all adults People can learn at any age. New learning and stimulating activities may stave off memory problems People can be wise at any age, but older folks are more likely to have the life experiences that make a person wiser – pay attention to them! 2. 2. 3. Only old people are wise 3. A Growing Need for Growing Geropyschologists Geropyschologists People are living longer than ever By 2050, 20% of U.S. population will 65 or older World­wide trend Older adults are a diverse group with unique interests and needs Many exciting and rewarding career opportunities Main Topics in the Psychology of Main Adult Development and Aging Adult Intelligence, memory, and wisdom Personality and resilience Social relations and interactions Health, physical functioning, sensory changes Life events, stressors, coping Scientific methods for studying change over time Important Aging-related Issues Stressors such as loss of loved ones, relocation, medical conditions, caregiving demands, change in work status, poverty Resources such as experience, wisdom, resilience, close relationships • Can help with adjusting to life changes • Can affect health and independence • Can lead to anxiety and depression Geropsychologists do research and Geropsychologists provide clinical services on provide Family relationships Memory Sexuality Mental capacity assessment Health promotion Substance abuse Mental disorders Adjusting to life changes Careers in Aging Community programs and services • • • Senior center activities Intergenerational programs Volunteer coordination Mental health services for adults of all ages Health care / long­term care settings Teaching and research Opportunities for high school & college grads, as well as those with advanced degrees Work Settings Clinics, hospitals, nursing homes Retirement communities U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Religious organizations Local, state, federal government Adult education programs Business and industry Professional organizations Research labs Resources for Students APA Aging Resources: • Office on Aging • Division 20, Adult Development and Aging • Division 12 Section 2, Clinical Geropsychology • Geropsychology: It’s YOUR Future! (fact sheet) Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (aging career info) • For more information... APA Office on Aging • Coordination point for APA activities pertaining to aging and geropsychology; supports the APA Committee on Aging • American Psychological Association Public Interest Directorate 750 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002­4242 202/336­6135 202/336­6040 fax [email protected] ...
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