Geriatric psychology is a subfield of psychology that specializes in the mental and physical health of those in the later stage of life. These specialized psychologists study a variety of psychological abilities that deplete as aging occurs such as memory, learning capabilities, and coordination. Geriatric psychologists work with elderly clients to conduct the diagnosis, study, and treatment of certain mental illnesses in a variety of workplace settings. A geriatric psychologist specializes in the treatment of the elderly.
This treatment can include mental health problems or aid in the understanding and coping with the aging process. In order to become a geriatric psychologist, one must obtain a doctoral degree in psychology and specialize in adult development and aging. Once the degree is obtained, geriatric psychologists will usually work in hospitals, mental health clinics, rehab centers, nursing homes, and research centers. Most geriatric psychologists work in medical facilities, however. Geriatric psychologists spend most of their work day addressing mental health issues in older adults and counseling those that need it. They also aid in the diagnosis of age-related problems. In order to check for mental health issues, geriatric psychologists will conduct clinical interviews, neuropsychological tests and behavioral observations.