Geropsychology is an area of psychology that focuses on addressing the emotional, mental and psychological needs of aging adults. Geropsychologists help older adults address a variety of age-related mental disorders (dimentia), illnesses, depression and anxiety. The primary objective of geropsychology is to help aging adults overcome their challenges and live full, productive lives into their old age by providing counseling services, psychotherapies and interventions.
In the United States, the majority of older adults experience chronic illness in one form or another. Such illness may include hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, hearing loss, diabetes, cataracts, or stroke. Not only does chronic illness have a physical effect on the body, it also has a psychological impact on the brain. For example, someone diagnosed with a chronic illness such as severe diabetes will often start suffering from depression as they face the realities of living life with the condition. Geropsychologists work to help alleviate the psychological affects of chronic illness and provide treatments to help individuals adjust to life with the illness.
If you have a desire to assist the elderly and want to become a psychologist, then a career in geropsychology is probably worth considering. Practicing geropsychologists must be licensed and have a doctorate degree in psychology or geropsychology, however, there are a variety of related career positions within the field of geropsychology for psychology professionals with a bachelor's or master's degree in psychology or a related field.
Below you'll find an editor compiled directory of schools, colleges, and universities offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs that will help you on your way to becoming a geropsychologist or geropsychology professional.