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The effect of age on the human face

Gerontology (from ancient Greek γέρων géron , German 'old man' and λόγος lógos 'doctrine'), also called age or aging science , is the science of aging (according to Franke the doctrine of the aging process, which deals with the problems of aging in humans and Animal busy).


Old couple in Portugal

Gerontology studies old age and aging and is therefore also known as the science of aging and aging . She researches the associated phenomena, problems and resources in an interdisciplinary manner and is in exchange with various natural, human, social and human sciences: “Gerontology deals with the description, explanation and modification of physical, psychological, social, historical and cultural aspects of aging and old age, including the analysis of age-relevant and age-constituting environments and social environments. ”The current problems of older people and social policy also shape the research questions in gerontology.

In Austria gerontology is part of vocational training in some nursing professions ; A three-hour compulsory subject in geriatric care training in Germany .


In a broader sense, gerontology includes: geriatric care (support for older people by institutions), geriatric sociology or gerontosociology (research into sociological aspects), biogerontology (research into biological causes), demography (population development), geriatrics (research, diagnosis, therapy and rehabilitation of diseases in Old age), gerontopsychiatry (diagnosis and therapy of mental illnesses in old age), gerontopsychology (research into psychological aspects), gerontopsychotherapy (mental support in old age - see also main article psychotherapy ), senior management (organization of everyday life for older people), social gerontology (research into social Aspects) and practical theology (theological interpretation of aging).

Tasks of gerontology

Gerontology reflects the change in the image of old age in society. The target group is the general public, the elderly themselves, groups professionally involved with seniors and politics. Seniors' days and congresses serve as a medium between universities and the general public . Gerontological research includes examining the biological basis of aging as well as changing social systems. Social sciences and demography are related sciences to gerontology. The aim of gerontology is to link different specialist areas such as geriatrics , geriatric psychiatry , care for the elderly and social work to form an independent scientific discipline. An increased focus on pragmatic questions can be observed. Disciplines of economics also address the question of how the pension system should be optimally designed . Knowledge of economics will increase in the future due to the increasing management orientation of the area. The German Federal Government has so far published seven reports on the elderly examining the situation of elderly people (1991 - 2016).

Study and training opportunities

In the course of the Bologna process , the old diploma courses (diploma gerontology, diploma psychogerontology) were largely converted into bachelor's and master’s courses. Germany currently offers the following courses in the field of gerontology:



In Switzerland several colleges MAS, DAS and CAS study programs (offer Master / Diploma / Certificate of Advanced Studies ) in Gerontology. Higher technical schools and other educational providers organize specific courses. An online search for the offers is possible at the Swiss Society for Gerontology (SGG • SSG).

Scientific societies and associations (DA-CH)

    • German Society for Gerontology and Geriatrics (DGGG)
    • German Society for Geriatrics (DGG)
    • German Society for Gerontopsychiatry and Psychotherapy (DGGPP)
    • German Society for Dental Prosthetics and Materials Science (DGZPW)
    • German Society for Geriatric Dentistry (DGAZ)
    • German Aging Scientific Society Vechta (DAWG)
    • in co-operation with
      • Austrian Society for Geriatrics and Gerontology (ÖGGG)
      • Swiss Society for Gerontology (SGG • SSG)
    • further cooperating associations are:
      • Federal Working Group of Clinical-Geriatric Facilities (BAG) e. V.
      • Federal Working Group of Senior Citizens' Organizations (BAGSO) e. V.
      • German Association for Physiotherapy - Central Association of Physiotherapists / Physiotherapists (ZVK) e. V.
  • German Society for Aging Research (DGfA)
  • Working group f. Neuropsychopharmacology u. Pharmacopsychiatry (AGNP)
  • Working group for gerostomatology e. V. (AKG)
  • Interdisciplinary Working Group for Applied Gerontology V. (IAAG)
  • Research Society for Gerontology (FFG)
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft Geriatrie Bayern e. V.
  • Middle Franconia Geriatrics Association V.
  • Medical working group for the promotion of geriatrics in Bavaria V. (AFGiB)
  • German Society for Hematology and Oncology V. (DGHO)
  • Working group for geriatric oncology of the DGHO
  • German Society for Psychology (DGPS)
  • Age (s) and Society Section of the German Society for Sociology (DGS)
  • Center for Aging and Society (ZAG)

See also


Gerontology in general
  • PB Baltes, MM Baltes: Gerontology: Concept, Challenge and Focal Points. In: Paul B. Baltes, Jürgen Mittelstrass (Hrsg.): Future of aging and social development. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1992, pp. 1-34.
  • Vern L. Bengston, K. Warner Schaie (Eds.): Handbook of Theories of Aging. New York 1999. (Eng.)
  • James E. Birren (Ed.): Handbook of the psychology of aging. 6th edition. Amsterdam, Elsevier Academic Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-12-101265-6 . (engl.)
  • Silke van Dyk : Sociology of old age. transcript, Bielefeld 2015, ISBN 978-3-8376-1632-3 .
  • Andreas Kruse , Mike Martin (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Gerontology. Hans Huber, Bern 2004, ISBN 3-456-83108-0 .
  • KU Mayer, PB Baltes (Hrsg.): The Berlin Age Study. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-05-002574-3 .
  • Wolf Oswald , Ursula Lehr , Cornel Sieber, Johannes Kornhuber (eds.): Gerontology: Medical, psychological and sociological basic terms. 3rd, completely revised Edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2006.
  • Hans-Werner Wahl, Vera Heyl: Gerontology - Introduction and History. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 2004.
  • Ursula Staudinger , Heinz Häfner: What is age (ies)? Springer, Heidelberg 2008, ISBN 978-3-540-76710-7 .
Special topics
  • Claudia Stöckl, Karin Kicker-Frisinghelli, Susanna Finker (eds.): The society of long life. Social and individual challenges. Bielefeld: transcript 2016, ISBN 978-3-8376-3426-6 .
  • Gertrud M. Backes, Wolfgang Clemens: Age phase of life. An introduction to social science research on aging. 2., ext. Edition. Juventa, Weinheim / Munich 2003.
  • Christian Carls: The new image of old age. Lit-Verlag, Münster 1996, ISBN 3-8258-2667-8 .
  • Birgit Jansen, Fred Karl, Hartmut Radebold , Reinhard Schmitz-Scherzer: Social Gerontology. Beltz Verlag, Weinheim / Basel 1999, ISBN 3-407-55825-2 .
  • Leopoldina : Years won. Recommendations of the Academy Group on Aging in Germany. (= Nova Acta Leopoldina. NF BD. 107, NR. 371; = Aging in Germany. Volume 9). Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 2009, ISBN 978-3-8047-2550-8 .
  • Bernhard Mann: Aging and Society - Between Competence and "Ageism". In: Sociological Review. Issue 2, April 2002, pp. 133-149. ISSN  0343-4109
  • Meinolf Peters : Clinical developmental psychology of old age. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004, ISBN 3-525-46219-0 .
  • Gerhard Pfohl : Paracelsus geriatrics and contemporary gerontology. In: Medical World. Volume 29, 1978, pp. 1862-1866.
  • Leopold Rosenmayr: The late freedom. Age - a piece of consciously lived life. Severin and Siedler, Berlin 1983, ISBN 3-88680-046-6 .
  • Leopold Rosenmayr: The forces of old age . Edition Atelier, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-900379-44-0 .
  • Reinhard Schmitz-Scherzer: Age and Leisure Time. (= Science + social practice ). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Berlin / Cologne / Mainz 1975, ISBN 3-17-002281-4 .
Trade journals
  • The gerontologist. at Oxford Journals. (engl.)
  • Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics. ( ISSN  0948-6704 ) from Springer.
  • GeroPsych - The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry. ( ISSN  1662-9647 ) from Hogrefe (formerly the journal for geriatric psychology and psychiatry ( ISSN  1011-6877 ) until the end of 2009 from Huber).

There are also a number of specialist journals in other disciplines (e.g. psychology, sociology, pedagogy, geriatrics, neurology, etc.) with gerontological content.

High and very old age
  • Hans Franke: very old and very old. Causes and Problems of Old Age. Springer-Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg etc. 1987 (= Understandable Science. Volume 118), ISBN 3-540-18260-8 .
  • Luczak Hania: Growing old in Japan. Turning away from egoism. Japan: The Island of the Happy Elders. In: GEO. 12, 2005.
  • Shino Nemoto, Toren Finkel: The miracle of people over 120. In: Spectrum of Science. November 2004, pp. 70-75, ISSN  0170-2971

Web links

Commons : Gerontology  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Gerontology  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hans Franke: Very old and very old. Causes and Problems of Old Age. Springer-Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg etc. 1987 (= Understandable Science. Volume 118), ISBN 3-540-18260-8 , p. 2.
  2. Definition in: Paul B. Baltes and Margret Maria Baltes , 1992, p. 8
  3. Master's degree in Aging Societies PO 2015 - ISO - Faculty 12 - TU Dortmund. Retrieved December 19, 2017 .
  4. Institute of Psychogerontology ( Master's degree in Gerontology M.Sc. )
  5. Institute of Gerontology ( postgraduate course in gerontology )
  6. University of Stuttgart ( Memento from November 21, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) ( Master's degree program alongside work: Online Integrated Gerontology M.Sc. ( Memento from November 21, 2010 in the Internet Archive ))
  7. Bachelor's and Master's degree in Gerontology BA / MA
  8. Further education course in Gerontology MA ( Memento of October 11, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  9. Further education course in social gerontology, MA
  10. SGG • SSG (Swiss Society for Gerontology): Gerontological advanced training courses ( Memento from February 16, 2016 in the Internet Archive )