The first necessary step that must be taken in order to know the meaning of the term gerontology is to discover its etymological origin. In this case, we can state that it is a neologism that derives from Greek, since it was formed from the sum of several lexical components of that language:
-The noun “geron, gerontos”, which can be translated as “old man”.
– “Logos”, which is synonymous with “word” or “treatise”.
-The suffix “-ia”, which is used to indicate “quality”.
Likewise, it is interesting to know that this neologism was shaped by the Russian-born biologist Ilya Ilyich Metchnikov (1845 – 1916), who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1908. In his work “The Nature of Man: Studies in Optimistic Philosophy ”defined gerontology as“ the scientific study of old age ”.
It is known as gerontology to science whose object of study are the phenomena linked to the old age. In this way, it is oriented to the analysis of old age in its different facets, focusing on social, psychological, cultural, economic and other issues.
A person she is old when she is very old. Although there is no precise definition of the term, old age or old age can be associated with seniors, which starts when the 65 years. Gerontology, therefore, usually focuses on men and women who have already lived more than six and a half decades.
The elderly have specific needs that must be addressed by experts in gerontology, either through direct professional intervention or through specific institutions. Gerontology specializes in studying the aging process of the subjects and societies.
While gerontology focuses on the various edges of aging, the geriatrics is the specialization of medicine that deals with the prevention, treatment and cure of diseases of old age.
In recent decades, the importance of gerontology grew as the human beings they live more and more years and, therefore, there is a greater number of elderly people globally. Simultaneously, social and cultural changes took place that made old people no longer valued for their experience and wisdom, but in many cases they came to be considered as burdens. For this reason, on occasions, they lose family ties and subsist almost in isolation, a fact that gerontology tries to reverse.
More and more in different countries are concerned about the elderly population. A good example of this is that organizations, plans and projects that focus on it are launched. Thus, for example, we can establish that in Spain there is the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology (SEGG), which has already had a history of seventy years.
Doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, geographers, physiotherapists or pedagogues are some of the partners of this society whose objectives are to promote knowledge of the aging process of the human being or to promote training and care systems in the field of health. gerontology and geriatrics, among others.