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Careers in Professional Geropsychology Professional Geropsychology Synarchy: A co-ordinating group of organizations in psychology and aging January 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Careers in Professional Geropsychology Professional Geropsychology Synarchy: A co-ordinating group of organizations in psychology and aging January 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Careers in Professional Geropsychology Professional Geropsychology Synarchy: A co-ordinating group of organizations in psychology and aging January 2013

2 What Is Geropsychology? The study of human aging in adulthood and the development of ways to improve quality of life in older adults (65+ years old). The study of human aging in adulthood and the development of ways to improve quality of life in older adults (65+ years old). Involves and interacts with various fields: cognitive neuroscience, neurology, medicine, sociology, social work, economics, humanities, public policy, human factors. Involves and interacts with various fields: cognitive neuroscience, neurology, medicine, sociology, social work, economics, humanities, public policy, human factors.

3 Why is there a need for geropsychologists? People are living longer than ever; People are living longer than ever; By 2050, 20% of U.S. population will be 65 or older. It’s a world-wide trend; By 2050, 20% of U.S. population will be 65 or older. It’s a world-wide trend; Currently, there are too few health workers and researchers who can work with older adults; Currently, there are too few health workers and researchers who can work with older adults; Many exciting and rewarding career opportunities. Many exciting and rewarding career opportunities.

4 The truth about aging… What is it like to be old?

5 Aging Myths... and Facts 1. All older adults have Alzheimer’s disease 2. All older adults are depressed 3. Psychological treatment is ineffective in old age 4. Most old people live in nursing homes 5. Most older adults are preoccupied with thoughts of death 1. Only 10% aged 65+ have memory problems 2. Older adults are just as satisfied with life as young adults are 3. Elders benefit from treatment as much as young adults do 4. 95% live on their own in the community 5. They are most concerned with staying independent

6 Aging Myths... and Facts (cont’d.) Aging Myths... and Facts (cont’d.) 6. Older adults are foolish if interested in sex 7. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks 8. Only old people are wise 6. Sexuality is a normal part of life for all adults 7. People can learn at any age. New learning and stimulating activities may stave off memory problems 8. People can be wise at any age, but older folks are more likely to have the life experiences that make a person wiser – pay attention to them!

7 What kind of work do geropsychologists do?

8 Where geropsychologists work… Clinics, hospitals, nursing homes Clinics, hospitals, nursing homes Retirement communities Retirement communities U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Religious organizations Religious organizations Local, state, federal government Local, state, federal government Adult education programs Adult education programs Business and industry Business and industry Professional organizations Professional organizations Research labs Research labs

9 Careers in geropsychology… Neuropsychology; Neuropsychology; Cognitive training; Cognitive training; Psychotherapy; Psychotherapy; Behavioral Medicine; Behavioral Medicine; Rehabilitation; Rehabilitation; Health Promotion; Health Promotion; Law (Adult Protection, Competency); Law (Adult Protection, Competency); Business; Business; Health Research; Health Research; Aging Policy and health care reform. Aging Policy and health care reform.

10 How to become a geropsychologist? Does require additional training: Ph.D. in psychology, with training in geropsychology; or post-Ph.D. specialty training in geropsychology Ph.D. in psychology, with training in geropsychology; or post-Ph.D. specialty training in geropsychology Look for graduate programs with opportunities for working with older adults. Look for graduate programs with opportunities for working with older adults. Look for clinical psychology internships with opportunities for working with older adults Look for clinical psychology internships with opportunities for working with older adults

11 What will I study? Normal/healthy aging; Normal/healthy aging; Neuroscience (normal and abnormal brain aging); Neuroscience (normal and abnormal brain aging); Sociology of aging; Sociology of aging; Psychology of Aging. Psychology of Aging.

12 How do I prepare for graduate training? You can get experience through: You can get experience through: Working in research settings with studies on healthy aging, mental health in late life, cognitive neuroscience in late life;Working in research settings with studies on healthy aging, mental health in late life, cognitive neuroscience in late life; Working and volunteering at senior centers, residential care facilities, health centers for seniors, or advocacy groups like AARP.Working and volunteering at senior centers, residential care facilities, health centers for seniors, or advocacy groups like AARP.

13 Resources for Students APA Aging Resources: APA Aging Resources: Office on Aging on Aging Division 20, Adult Development and Aging 20, Adult Development and Aging Division 12 Section 2, Clinical Geropsychology 12 Section 2, Clinical Geropsychology Geropsychology: It’s YOUR Future! (fact sheet) pdfGeropsychology: It’s YOUR Future! (fact sheet) pdf pdf pdf Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (aging career info) Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (aging career info)

14 For more information... APA Office on Aging APA Office on Aging Coordination point for APA activities pertaining to aging and geropsychology; supports the APA Committee on AgingCoordination point for APA activities pertaining to aging and geropsychology; supports the APA Committee on Aging American Psychological Association Public Interest Directorate 750 First Street, NE Washington, DC / / fax Psychological Association Public Interest Directorate 750 First Street, NE Washington, DC / / fax


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