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 Strong Demand for Workers Spurs Fresh Take on Careers in Aging Week

Demand for professionals with expertise in aging is growing immensely as worldwide demographics depict a rapidly greying population, which in turn has spurred the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and its educational arm, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education, to prepare new resources for Careers in Aging Week running March 3-9.

One change is that GSA for the first time is working with the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), Argentum, and LeadingAge in building support and participation for the week-long event.

GSA said the expanse of Careers in Aging Week is wide, with the effort celebrated at businesses, clinics, coalitions, organizations, universities, and other institutions globally. The activities, the group said, will provide important information about the wide range of professions in the field of aging and aging research, raise awareness about older populations and their needs, and inform students and the public of the many academic programs available to get started in the field.

“Regardless of the career path that one chooses, demographic trends in the U.S. indicate that a high number of the people you serve are likely to be older adults,” said GSA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Appleby. “The possibilities of careers in aging are limitless, and we are proud to join with new partners to cultivate the workforce of tomorrow.”

Also as part of the program, GSA has created a video preview of the 2019 social media awareness campaign, in which organizations will share their plans for raising awareness of careers in aging.

Watch for “The Real Faces of Careers in Aging,” which is composed of vignettes of individual interviews taken with a range of professionals in the field of aging. They will be released on social media throughout Careers in Aging Week.

“AHCA/NCAL is proud to participate in Careers in Aging Week and encourage our members to showcase the incredible opportunities available in long term and post-acute care,” said AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson. “Staffing is one of our profession’s biggest challenges, and it’s a priority for us to continue to build resources and spread awareness to help providers attract and retain qualified, dedicated caregivers.”

LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan echoed those sentiments, saying awareness is a vital part of the plan to attract and retain qualified, dedicated caregivers. “Workforce is the single most challenging issue facing providers today. We’re thrilled to be a part of this important effort,” she said.

Social media will also play a role from individual events related to the week, with participants invited to share selfies. “Snap a photo of your office, your classroom, your clinic, your business, or your lab. Describe your career in aging on social media using #careersinaging19 or email,” GSA said.

“This is a critically important time for us to work together to help shape the future of senior living,” said Argentum President and CEO James Balda. “Sharing the limitless possibilities of what a career in aging can offer will help to build a caring, compassionate, and dedicated workforce.”

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