updated version of Senior Citizen Interview

Topics: Old age, Gerontology Pages: 6 (1157 words) Published: August 15, 2015

Senior Citizen Interview
Amanda DiBenedetto
PSY 375
June 29, 2015
Rockel Etienne
Senior Citizen Interview
In today's world, we have a very large demographical shift in population. This is especially true for the U.S. because of the baby boom from WWII. And because of this demographical shift there are older adults in our midst. If today’s society just took the time to sit and listen to our older generation then they would realize what they have to offer. For this week’s assignment, I had the privilege of sitting down with my neighbor to question her about her aging process. For an hour, I questioned my neighbor about her personal life, family, friends, interest, and activities. The interview was amusing and informative. It gave great insight into the world of a senior citizen. My neighbor did give me permission to use her first name for this assignment, and she will be referred to as Maria. In the next following sections, I will discuss any notable and surprising aspects from my interview with Maria. Plus, I will discuss Maria’s overall functioning at her age. And at the end of this paper I will discuss what I have learned from this interview with Maria. Notable and Surprising Aspects from the Interview

While conducting the interview, I was surprised by Maria's openness to indulge me with her life experiences. She was very open and willing to tell me pretty much anything about her life. And Maria was very in tune and aware of everything that was going. Plus, she was able to recall past events that occurred years ago. I found all of this to be very surprising because I had a preprogrammed notion that she should have been responding differently to my questions. This perceived notion is largely due to our understanding of gerontology and ageism (Berger, 2011). At a young age, we are all taught that older people are slower, forgetful, fragile and need extra attention because depression is very common with older people. I found none of this to be true with Maria. She was very happy with her lifestyle, and she had a lot going for her. Plus, she was very open with the fact that her husband and her we both still sexually active. Again, I was very surprised with her comment because the sexual activity does decline with age (Berger, 2011). Maria showed no signs of stopping or changing her lifestyle due to age. Our society is very big on telling the elderly that they need to take it easy and be careful of physical activity because their bodies are weakening. This may be true for some people who have weak immune systems and bones, but it is not true for all. Overall Functioning of Participant

After listening to Maria relay the events from her past and present, I concluded that she has successfully aged. Maria has stayed very active through her senior years and doesn’t show any signs of stopping. She is in good standings both mentally and physically. And she lives a productive life with her husband of 47 years. They both go to salsa classes and NASCAR races during NASCAR season. Plus, Maria is constantly socializing with friends and family through means of bingo and family functions. For example, Maria has weekly Sunday night dinners with her children and grandkids. Plus, her grandkids are frequently visiting her. This type of support is very positive on Maria’s process of aging. According to Berger, being surrounded by emotional support from one’s children is better than being supported financially (2011). Plus, much of Maria’s activities aid her with her aging process. For instance, to keep her mind active she reads and stays in tune with current events. Plus, I see no social issues for Maria because she is very involved with her family and community. This is displayed by her volunteer work at her local elementary school. Furthermore, Maria is still able to transport herself using driving. This type of ability displays great mental and physical health for her age group...

References: Berger, K. S. (2011). The developing person through the life span (8th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Hartman-Stein, P. E., & Potkanowicz, E. S. (2003). Behavioral Determinants of Healthy Aging: Good News for the Baby Boomer Generation. Online Journal Of Issues In Nursing, 8(2), 127-146.
Masotti, P. J., Fick, R., Johnson-Masotti, A., & MacLeod, S. (2006). Healthy naturally occurring retirement communities: A low-cost approach to facilitating healthy aging. American Journal of Public Health, 96 (7), 1164-1170.
Potkanowicz, E. S., Hartman-Stein, P., & Biermann, J. S. (2009). Behavioral Determinants of Health Aging Revisited: An Update on the Good News for the Baby Boomer Generation. Online Journal Of Issues In Nursing, 14(3), 11.
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