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Ideas From the Older Generation

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I am supposed to interview an elder, someone at least 75 and I honestly do not know anyone that age.... I have no living relatives that age and, I am young, so I do not have any friends that age either. I need to develop some interview questions.

You will use these questions to interview an elder of your choosing -- a friend, family member, or acquaintance. Ideally, this person will be in relatively good health and functioning well in the world. Since there is no consensus on the age at which a person becomes elderly, the exact age of the person you select is up to you. However, we recommend that your interviewee be at least 75 years old.

Using your interview questions, conduct, record, and then listen to your interview. As you listen to and reflect on the interview, choose and transcribe several of your interviewee's statements that resonate with your learning about wisdom.

Post three quotations from the elder you interviewed, and explain how the elder's thoughts relate to the theories and ideas.

Think about the words elderly, aged, or geriatric. What associations do you have when you think about these words? What associations do you think the majority of people have when they think about the aged? More likely than not, most people would have negative associations. In fact, modern Western culture has tended to devalue aging and the aged, celebrating youth and the young. In this discussion, you will explore how elders themselves perceive both the experience of aging and their current capacities.

Thank you!

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Solution Preview

1. Think about the words elderly, aged, or geriatric. Would you use any of these words to describe yourself? No. I am old but don't use any of those words or consider those terms about myself.
2. Since technology is a rather recent phenomenon, how do you compare the world now with it so deeply entrenched into life? I remember when the family got the first TV. We had cable for a while, years ago, but don't have it now. I use email but still send hand-written letters in the mail, as well. I think younger people should still be able to write a hand-written letter and practice good penmanship. I worry that that skill will be lost. I find many of the new electronics in my home to be very convenient, when I can figure out how to use them. However, I ...

Solution Summary

This was written in an interview format about the mindset of an older person to glean understanding of the aging population.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Role and Definition of Age

• What do you define as "old"?
• What are your family's beliefs about aging?
• If an elder in your family needs care, whose responsibility is it to provide that care? How do you determine who holds that responsibility (e.g. eldest sibling, most financially stable, etc.)?
• Does your perception differ from your parents beliefs?
• Are these differences because of acculturation time? (You are first generation American, or you are a new immigrant, or your family has been in America for generations).
• How does interdependence have a role in your family?
• Is it important that the caregivers be "family"? What is your definition of "family"?

Next, interview an elder in your family (someone at least 2 generations older, if possible), asking him/her the same questions.

Write a 2 page paper summarizing your interview. Describe what you learned from this individual. Does this information change your original perceptions? How does your interviewee's perception of his or her own health match up with his or her actual health? Were they accurate?

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