6 Unique Careers in the Field of Aging

If you were to approach a stranger on the street and ask them about the first career that comes to mind in the field of gerontology, they would likely respond with, “That’s easy — a gerontologist.” While their response is understandable, the title gerontologist only scrapes the surface of potential gerontology careers. 

Whether you’re embarking on a career change, considering graduate school or interested in expanding your professional horizons, get ready to explore six unique careers in the field of aging. 

#1 Gerontechnology Specialist 

As the name suggests, a gerontechnology specialist uses technology to improve the lives of older adults. They bridge the widening gap between today’s ever-advancing gadgets and the often not-so-tech-savvy elderly, helping them to learn to use different kinds of equipment that can increase their independence and overall well-being. 

Some of the technologies they utilize with their clients include: 

  • Telehealth platforms that make remote checkups more efficient. 
  • Elderly-friendly smart home devices, such as smart locks, refrigerators and stoves that others can control remotely.
  • Health monitoring devices, like smartwatches, blood pressure monitors and medication dispensers. 

#2 Public Health Administrator  

Public health administrators oversee and manage multiple aspects of public and private public health programs at the federal and local level, including those focused on the elderly. While your duties would vary depending on your particular sector (state, federal or private), some of your responsibilities would include: 

  • Designing and Developing Programs for Older Adults
    To better serve the older population, public health administrators work with a team of other professionals to create programs that address the well-being of older adults. Some of these programs focus on topics of interest to the elderly, including fall prevention, mental health support and disease management. 
  • Advocating for Elderly-Friendly Policies
    From Medicare and Medicaid to other long-term care services, public health administrators work alongside other policymakers to advocate for policies that promote the improved health and wellness of older adults. 

#3 Intergenerational Program Coordinator 

Do you enjoy bringing people together for the greater good? How about seeing their faces light up when they’re enjoying the company of new (and sometimes unexpected) companions? Intergenerational program coordinators plan and oversee programs that unify people from different generations. 

Why do they do it, you ask? For a multitude of uplifting and joyful reasons, such as: 

  • Forging positive relationships between unlikely individuals. (25-year-olds and 75-year-olds have more in common than you think!) 
  • Creating a sense of understanding among multiple generations of humans who are often otherwise disconnected.
  • Finding creative ways to improve the quality of life for all participants, young and old. 

 #4 Aging Life Care Manager 

If you’ve ever liaised between healthcare providers and the healthcare system for a member of your family, you already have your foot in the door for the role of aging life care manager. These individuals play a crucial role in helping older adults and their families understand and traverse the challenges of aging.  

From physical issues to mental health-related problems, geriatric care managers offer healthcare management services that help elderly clients receive the care they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Other aspects of the role include: 

  • Helping families adjust to the changes occurring to their elderly family members. 
  • Coordinating all aspects of care, including medical appointments, rehabilitation and selecting appropriate housing based on their needs.
  • Providing financial assistance by overseeing bill payments or consulting with a client’s accountant. 

 #5 Geriatric Nutritionist/Dietitian 

If you have a passion for meal planning or helping others maintain a healthy lifestyle via a nutritious diet, consider a career as a geriatric nutritionist or dietitian. Our dietary needs change throughout our lives, and in this role, you’d focus on developing nutrition plans curated to the needs of older adults. 

Some of the fundamental responsibilities of your day-to-day schedule would include: 

  • Conducting nutritional screenings for your patients. 
  • Communicating nutrition concerns and goals with patients and their caregivers. 
  • Creating nutrition plans based on each individual’s unique set of dietary needs. 
  • Educating older adults on the importance of proper nutrition to prevent disease and maintain their quality of life as they age. 

#6 Public Policy Director 

Like a public health administrator, a director of public policy with a specialization in aging adults focuses on advocating for policies that aim to improve the lives of the elderly population. However, unlike the former title, a public policy director initiates these policy changes at the government level. Some of their responsibilities include: 

  • Developing policies on topics that impact and benefit older adults, like housing, financial security and healthcare. 
  • Conducting research and staying current on the latest gerontological trends to ensure their policies align with the needs of the elderly.
  • Engaging with older adults and their families to get a firsthand understanding of their needs. 

 Start Your Career With a Top-Tier Education From the University of Florida 

No matter which unique career path you choose, it all begins with an appropriate foundation of knowledge — and a respectable graduate degree to go along with it. At UF, we proudly offer two different online graduate degree programs in aging: 

Master’s Degree in Gerontology 

Ready to take your career in aging to the next level? This 30-credit, entirely online program will impart the skills, knowledge and experience you need to advance your career in a variety of specialties. 

Master’s Degree in Medical Physiology and Aging 

This unique master’s degree blends courses from two of UF’s online programs: 

  • Master’s Degree in Gerontology   
  • Medical Physiology Graduate Certificate 

With courses from both programs, you’ll immerse yourself in age-related courses while simultaneously concentrating on medical physiology, which prepares you for the MCAT and other National Board examinations. 

Take the first step in sculpting your future and apply to the program of your choice today! 

Sources:
https://www.aginglifecare.org/ALCAWEB/ALCAWEB/What_is_Aging_Life_Care/What_you_need_to_know.aspx 
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6491115/