Gerontology/Geriatrics Definitions

What is Gerontology? Geriatrics?

Aging is a multidisciplinary field. This means that the study of aging combines or integrates information from several separate areas of study. Biology, sociology, and psychology are the "core" or basic areas, along with content from many other areas of study such as public policy, humanities, and economics.

Gerontology is the study of the aging processes and individuals as they grow from middle age through later life. It includes:

  • the study of physical, mental, and social changes in older people as they age
  • the investigation of the changes in society resulting from our aging population
  • the application of this knowledge to policies and programs. As a result of the multidisciplinary focus of gerontology, professionals from diverse fields call themselves "gerontologists"

Geriatrics is:

  • the study of health and disease in later life
  • the comprehensive health care of older persons and the well-being of their informal caregiver

Gerontologists improve the quality of life and promote the well-being of persons as they age within their families, communities and societies through research, education and application of interdisciplinary knowledge of the aging process and aging populations.