What Is Gerontology? Scope And Career Opportunities

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

The process of life and death is such that every person goes through all the phases of life. In most cases, people go through the phases of childhood and infancy followed by adulthood and later old age. No one can go to one stage by skipping some other step. Now it is a well-accepted fact that the periods of infancy and old age are the ones wherein a person is most dependent on others. For performing simple day-to-day functions, people need the assistance of others.

 

Now during childhood, one has their parents at their beck and call. Calling parents for the simplest of tasks ensures that the same gets done. However, the same cannot be said about old age. In fact, to make matters worse, old age is when special attention is required from a medical point of view.

Gerontology: Scope & Career Opportunity

The demands of caretaking here are more technical and one small mistake might even prove to be fatal. That is why one needs to be very careful while dealing with aged people. The science that deals with studying the problems old people encounter and dealing with possible solutions for them together is known as gerontology.

Although this field of study came into picture generations ago, it is in the past few years that it is gaining popularity. A number of new career options are coming up in this field. In fact, it is one of the noblest professions that exist since you get to cater to the needs of the generation that did to yours when you were at your lowest. Read on to know the different possible ways in which you can make a career here.

· Food And Nutrition

As people age, their digestive system loses the capability that it possessed in the past. The same can be said with respect to the kidneys and the enzyme-secreting organs. So, in order to continue leading a comfortable life, the person ends up curtailing their dietary intake. This leads to a reduction in the nutritional intake which in turn forms the basis of a number of health issues.

Thus, the first step to a sound and healthy life is to chalk out a diet that meets the daily nutritional requirements without putting undue pressure on the organs in the body. These diets need to be personalised after taking into consideration the health, lifestyle and food habits of the aged person. This is the duty of the dieticians and nutritionists. The starting salary here is about INR 18,000 per month.

· Public Healthcare

This is one opportunity in the field of gerontology that did not exist in the past. These days, the government is rolling out a number of schemes for the benefit of the older population. The design, implementation and execution of all these plans is the duty of these people. Since the jobs in this sector are of government services, they are comparatively better paid than most private jobs.

The starting salary itself is around INR 26,000 per month at the basic fresher level. For people joining the world of public healthcare for the aged at a higher level, the salary is naturally higher. However, on the negative side, this type of job may require you to travel and you may have to serve in rural areas as well.

· Psychology

Old people are often the ones who are neglected at home. This pushes them towards depression. Another reason for this is the fact that old people sometimes are not able to keep up with the changing times. This results in them feeling helpless about the entire situation, thereby, pushing them to greater despair and depression.

In order to deal with things like this and avoid the occurrences of such events in the future, the best way out would be to take them to professional counsellors. These people start off with a monthly salary of about INR 25,000 and with experience make much more than that. It is your compassion for people that will make you succeed in this field of gerontology.

· Nursing

Even if aged people are not sick, they require the services of the nurses to carry out their day-to-day activities. This is because the aged people are incapable of carrying out their normal day-to-day functions. Simple tasks like going to the washroom or serving themselves food may seem daunting to many.

To make matters worse, for people who are unwell, keeping up with the daily dosage of medication is another daunting task. It is the duty of the nurses to cater to all of that and ensure that the patient does not end up with conditions like bed sore.

Nurses can choose to be employed in a hospital, private clinic or work as primary caregivers for individual clients. The working hours and working conditions will depend on the type of organisation that they work for. The starting salary for a fresher here is about INR 20,000 per month.

· Physiology

The human body is such that any wear and tear that occurs to it can be cured by the body itself over a course of time. The tissues in the muscles are designed in such a way that they will aid the process of recovery. However, with age, this power reduces and injuries to old people take time to heal.

In such a situation, the role of a physiologist is very important. These people suggest appropriate exercises in order to help aged people recover from different types of injuries. For people who are not injured, physiologists suggest appropriate exercises so that older people are able to maintain their health. The salary of these people starts from INR 20,000 per month.

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