Why I Became a Gerontologist

From the time I was twelve years old, along with exploring art history and all aspects of design—interior and architectural design, fashion and jewelry design-- I loved science, especially biology. And, I loved doing research, digging deeply and using cross-referencing to find the answer. I wore out our home encyclopedias, and practically lived in the library; obviously long before the Internet, when mastering the card catalog was a science in itself! Basically, I was your garden-variety academic nerd. Severe endometriosis changed my life at twenty-two, and I dove into the world of health and healing, vitamins and supplements, diet and exercise. Coming forward thirty-three years, I read an article that said American colleges and universities wouldn’t be able to train the large number of gerontologists needed for our aging population. After looking up gerontology, I knew this was what I wanted to do for my second act.

I also knew from the beginning of my most recent return to school, that I wanted to concentrate on issues facing women as they age, for both my own journey and to help all my friends live long, healthy lives so that I would have playmates! But seriously, I saw a great need: for so long, so few health and science studies focused on women, and only a scant amount had used women participants.  For example, older studies on testing hormones used men as the participants! (How bizarre is that thinking?) Researchers and doctors just took the results of studies on men and applied the same guidelines to women, because women and men are exactly alike ;-)

Eventually studies featured female participants, but only in the last twenty years, or so. Still, nowhere could I find good, clear, concise information regarding women’s health and well-being as seen through a gerontological lens—a holistic lens, as gerontology is a holistic discipline. Holistic means that since all our parts are intimately connected, to fully understand ourselves as complicated human beings we must look at all the different aspects of a person—the psychological, physical, and social elements.

My goals are to empower, educate, and energize women using great information backed up by sound science. We deserve to be the masters of our health and our destiny. Obviously, we have merited that unique focus all along, but thank goodness society is finally catching up.  We now see women across the planet stepping up and taking their rightful places as full creators of their future. I want to help each one of them access the very best version of herself.