Geropsychologists are currently in high demand since the baby boomers are aging. Geropsychologists counsel elderly individuals requiring assistance with age-related mental health issues. They spend a lot of time simply talking to patients and resolving their concerns. Geropsychologists assist patients at assisted-living facilities, their homes, hospitals, and other medical facilities. Many geropsychologists possess expertise in serious age-related memory problems, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Life expectancy is currently high nationwide, so job opportunities for geropsycholgists should be plentiful.
How to Become a Geropsychologist
Geropsychologists typically complete undergraduate or graduate programs in psychology. Most psychology doctorate programs can be completed in 4-8 years. Students studying geropsychology learn about age-related mental health problems, including dementia, psychological and physical age-related changes, patient evaluation, and other important concepts. Graduate students are required to participate in research and clinical work. Licensing boards usually require work experience prior to licensure.
Since life expectancy is high and the baby boomer generation is aging, demand for geropsychologists will be good through the near future. In fact, it’s projected that there will not be enough geropsychologists to satisfy demand.
The National Institute on Aging estimates that 5,000 geropsychologists will be needed by 2020 to meet the needs of the elderly population. During the 1990’s, there were about 700 geropsychologists practicing nationwide.
Demand for geropsychologists is also high since many elderly individuals struggle with suicidal thoughts, loneliness, depression, and anxiety.