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Why Study Gerontology?

The field of gerontology offers challenging and rewarding careers in an area that is growing rapidly, that needs people with a broad range of skills, and that will improve people's lives. No matter your major. No matter your college. You will work with older adults in some capacity in the future.

  • By 2035 the older adult population is projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. History
  • Over the past 10 years the population 65+ increased by 33% and is projected to almost double by 2060
  • The 85+ population is projected to increase by 129% by 2040



We live in an aging society, one in which the older population is growing both in absolute numbers and in proportion to all other age groups. Businesses, government agencies, service organizations, educational institutions, and self-employed professionals from every economic sector are recognizing the need for specialized knowledge and skills to meet the needs of this changing demography. People who are interested in this diverse field come from many disciplines, professions, and clinical areas, such as social work, nursing, counseling, recreation, public policy, long-term care administration, medicine, architecture, psychology, adult education, or rehabilitation therapy among others. Some people work directly with older persons in a wide variety of programs and services in the community. Others work on behalf of older persons in areas such as advocacy and education.


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The multidisciplinary study of aging processes and individuals as they grow from middle age through later life.

There are six myths about old age:

  • That it's a disease, a disaster.

  • That we are mindless.

  • That we are sexless.

  • That we are useless.

  • That we are powerless.

  • That we are all alike.

Maggie Kuhn, Founder
Gray Panthers