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Gerontology Minor

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Gerontology Minor 

Viterbo University offers a minor in Gerontology to broaden student’s understanding of the process of aging.  This multidisciplinary minor examines the biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging. Gerontology includes courses in nursing, sociology, social work, nutrition and dietetics, psychology, religious studies, biology and philosophy.   

Why Gerontology? 

According to the Department of Health and Human Services:

  • The population over the age 65 will increase to 37.9 million in 2007 to 71.5 million in 2030.
  • The population over the age 85 will increase to 15 to 18 million by 2050.
  • Current statistics show about one in every eight Americans (12.4%) is over the age of 65.
  • Demographic trends in Southwest Wisconsin and Southeast Minnesota mirror national trends showing a growing need for individuals who are trained to work with the older population.
  • While state-wide statistics show 5.4 percent of Wisconsin residents in the
    65+ category live in care facilities, in La Crosse that number is 7.2 percent.
  • The aging of the population is also a world-wide trend; an increase of 140 percent by 2030 with one in eight or one billion people in the world will be
    65+, representing a global challenge.

According to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education

The field of gerontology and aging is very diverse, offering different employment opportunities. This diversity exists because older persons are different from each other. For example, many older persons are healthy and active. Persons working with these older people might be providing educational opportunities, recreation and leisure programs, and volunteer activities. Some older persons are frail and less active. Jobs which relate to these more vulnerable elders might be in long-term care, health care settings or agencies that deliver services to older persons. The relative newness of the field means that there are opportunities for innovative ideas, new programs and products. 

http://www.careersinaging.com/careersinaging/why.html

For more information contact:
Connie Fossen
Associate Professor, Social Work
Program Coordinator, Gerontology Minor
Murphy Center 528
608-796-3729
cmfossen@viterbo.edu

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