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Gerontological Nursing

The Field Of Aging

Gerontology as a field of study was notable in Europe prior to North America because of the earlier maturing of Europe's population while initially North America had a younger population. However, in the early 1930's as North America's war against infectious diseases was won, more focus was placed upon degenerative, chronic diseases—most of which were notable in the growing, older population. Gerontology began as an inquiry into the characteristics of long-lived people. It is defined as the science of aging, studying the effects of time on human development, specifically aging. Gerontology is the preferred term for the normal aging process including the biologic, psychosocial and spiritual aspects of the older adult. The term geriatrics is the area of study related to diseases of the elderly and became popular as geriatric medicine evolved.

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