Interview a Senior Citizen
September 22, 2014
Interview a Senior Citizen
The most rapidly growing age group in the United States is the elderly, or those individuals age sixty-five and older (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2011). Late adulthood stretches from age 65 to the end of the lifespan (Laura E Berk, 2010, p. 1). Or it can be called gerontology which is the study of the aging processes and individuals as they grow from middle age through later life. ("Association For Gerontology For Higher Education ", n.d.). In order to understand the changes in late adulthood I interviewed a sixty eight year old African American male, who I will refer to as the participant. He is retired from Military and Law Enforcement each he has spent over 30 years in service. The participant stated the main reason for his retirement was so that he could care for his wife and have more time for his family. He was married on August 3, 1981 and married for 33 years. The participant has two girls and two boys. His oldest daughter was born in 1970, oldest son in 1972, his youngest son in 1975, and his baby girl in 1985. The participant viewed aging in a very positive and healthy manner. He believed that an encouraging attitude helps in accepting physical and psychosocial changes. Notable and Surprising Features of Interview
In our reading in chapter 16 we discussed Erickson’s Theory: Generativity versus Stagnation. “This is when a person reaches out to others in ways that gives to and guide the next generation.” (Berk, 2010, "Chapter 16, Erickson's Theory: Generativity versus Stagnation ") The participant noted that he loves to help others when he can; especially his children and grandchildren. It is something that brings him joy and pleasure. This also gives him a sense of completion. During his retirement the participant has dedicated his time to help his family in any way that he can. He also stated that while he was working he did not have allot of free time, so he wants to try to make up for time that he has lost. The participant was willing to discuss any topic about adulthood with me, even adding additional information to some questions that I asked. The overall notion in the past was that older adults are unmindful and distracted. During my interview with the participant I observed that he recalled largely most of the information from the past than one would expect someone his age to remember. The participant admitted that he sometimes calls his daughters by the wrong names. Not because he does not remember their names but because they favor each other and sound alike. Another assessment that normally has been acknowledged is that older adults become physically, psychologically, and socially withdrawn, which is known as the disengagement theory. “The disengagement theory is mutual withdrawal between elders and society takes place in anticipation of death.” Berk, Laura E., 2010, para.Disengagement Theory). Throughout my interview with the participant I did not see this theory as true for him. The participant is still active in physical activities as well as social activities. He engages in basketball on occasions, walks daily, and does routine exercises daily. Many of the elderly are placed in a convalescent or assisted living home. The participant still lives at home with his wife and dog; it is the same home they first moved into over 30 years ago. The participant mainly drives him and his wife around with no issues at all. This point means that he still has good vision as well as is mentally stable. Surprising Aspects of the Interview
According to Bengtson and Schaie (2000) “It would interesting to look at the way in which people of different ages and cohorts “story” and re-story time.” (p. 47 para. 1). The participant enjoyed answering some of my questions in the form of a story. He was able to reminisce while I conducted the interview. Throughout the interview the most surprising aspect was when the participant told me...
References: Berk, Laura E.. (2010). Development through the lifespan. Retrieved from Berk, Laura E., Psych600-Developmental Psychology website.
Wood, S. E., Wood, E. G., & Boyd, D. (2011). the world of psychology (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc/Allyn and Bacon.
Zeilig, H. (2011). The critical use of narrative and literature in gerontology. International Journal of Ageing & Later Life., 6(2), 30. SocINDEX with Full Text.
Interview With A Senior Citizen
1. Date of Birth? September 18, 1946
5. Last place of employment? South Carolina State University Police Department. Police Sargent and Training Officer. Employed from December 2001 to August 2014
6. When is your anniversary? August 3, 1981
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