If we live long enough then we all have something in common — aging. The elderly, often defined as someone over age 65, now comprise 14 percent of the U.S. population and are projected to rise to 20 percent by the year 2050. For your next term paper you might consider research topics on aging such as age discrimination or aging and sexuality.
You might even want to take a course on gerontology which is the study of the social, psychological and biological aspects of aging and elderly people.
Careers in aging
Still considering your career path? Keep in mind the statistics relating to our aging population for ideas on your career focus. Kerry Hannon outlined ideas to consider in a September 26, 2011, article for Forbes.com, “An Aging Population Means New Jobs.”
The list of careers that can relate either directly or indirectly to elder care included:
- Occupational therapist
- Fitness trainer
- Healthcare advocate
Think outside the box and you will discover career and business opportunities you never dream existed. For example, become a Senior Move Manager and help the elderly to downsize.
“Typical client is moving to smaller quarters in a retirement community and needs help choosing what moves and what’s sold, donated or given to friends and family. For more information, contact the National Association of Senior Move Managers,” Hannon explained.
Research on aging
Continue your research on aging at Questia where you can read millions of full-text books, articles, journals and newspapers. Browse the Questia library by topic to get ideas on how you can focus your research paper.
Topics related to aging include:
You might decide to slant your topic with a particular focus such as women’s issues or feminism. A resource that takes the topic in this direction is the book, The Other within Us: Feminist Explorations of Women and Aging by Marilyn Pearsall.
“But as hard as it is to become a woman, it is even harder to become an old woman in patriarchal society. To undo the double process of objectification and self-objectification of women in these two social becomings, the chapters in this volume offer new paradigms to redescribe aging from a feminist perspective,” Pearsall said.
Myths about aging
It’s hard for a young person to relate to what it’s like to face old age and mortality. But there are plenty of good resources that cover the subject in an informative and thoughtful way.
One such resource is the report, “Older Adults’ Health and Age-Related Changes: Reality Versus Myth” from The American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Aging.
This report addresses the fact that although we tend to stereotype the elderly as weak, forgetful and hearing impaired the reality is not quite so bleak.
“What’s important to remember about people over age 65 is that while many begin to experience some physical limitations, they learn to live with them and lead happy and productive lives,” the report said.
The elderly – not so different
As you learn more about the elderly you’ll discover that while many things change as one ages, some things stay much the same. For example, a healthy sex life is just as important to the elderly as it is to young people.
Joan Price explained, “Everything you always wanted to know about (late-life) sex,” in a June 15, 2015, post for Aging Today at the American Society on Aging blog site.
Price observed that sex is often better as one ages despite the challenges presented by physical ailments and required medications.
According to Price, “Instead of being driven by the biological urges of their youth, they’re enjoying slower sex, attuned to all the sensations along the way. They cope with their body’s changes and challenges creatively, trying new things, learning new ways to communicate.”
Have you considered researching topics on aging or a career focus in gerontology? Tell us about it in the comments.