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    Role and Definition of Age

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    • 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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    Solution Preview

    Each successive generation likely defines the notion of aging differently, as they do the role of the aging within society. One interview with someone two generations older than you will likely go as follows:

    What do you define as 'old': The idea of 'old' brings to mind someone who no longer is able to work or do what the activities that they once enjoyed with ease. For each person, I think this hit us at a different age or period within the lifespan. I have seen some 90 year olds that, while many would consider them old, are still able to function fairly normally. For others, old age hits much earlier in the 60's. While the 70's or 80's are more typical of the traditional definition of 'old', it is really unto the unique physical and biological characteristics of the person that dictates at what point this age is reached. It think society as a whole views older people in a different light today than they did a few generations ago. Today, older people are more viable contributors their communities, are working productive jobs until later in life, and are generally more healthy than their predecessors. This has gradually served to elevate their stature in society and enable them to be more positive ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution of 944 words explores the concept of age and how it affects families, beliefs and roles.