New fields that combine differing specialties have emerged over the past few years. Examples of these “hybrid fields” include medical authors—doctors who are also authors; and behavioral economists, psychologists who study how people spend money.

A new focus on supporting the elderly has begun to overlap with several fields. For instance, Leon Watts, a contractor in Los Angeles, earned a master’s degree in gerontology to help him understand the needs of his aging clients.

According to Leon, knowledge of the unique needs of elderly people can help contractors design homes. Staircases can be very difficult to navigate and slippery surfaces can pose a safety risk. General home renovations can be disorienting to some seniors, and lighting and room design preferences should be considered.

Based on his work experience and education in geriatrics, Watts advises his clients to work on their homes before it’s an emergency and to come up with a plan for home care before it’s needed.

Watts demonstrates how the juxtaposition of different careers and interests can yield new insights.

© 2019 DRY HARBOR