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Older Adult Interview Journal

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The purpose of this assignment is:

  1. To provide an opportunity to develop interpersonal skills in a direct interview with an older adult.
  2. To allow an older adult to serve as a resource for students in understanding a particular area of aging.  

Identify a person who is at least 70 years old and is willing to be interviewed. The person you interview should not be a relativeand should preferably be someone you do not know very well. You need to have the interviewee sign a consent form, which is available in the course site.

Interview: When you meet your interviewee, explain the purpose of the interview and have him or her sign the consent form. Spend a minimum of 30 minutes together. You can develop your own questions or choose from the following:

General life story—suggested topics:

  1. Significant accomplishments in your life
  2. Significant challenges in life
  3. Significant turning points in your life as you have aged
  4. Most important issues faced as an older adult
  5. Preparing for your anticipated future needs
  6. Review life as a whole, discuss meanings gleaned
  7. Share wisdom to pass along
  8. Discuss how you would like to be remembered

Other topics to discuss:

  1. Ethnic diversity and aging
  2. Psycho-social adjustment to aging 
  3. Health issues: how chronic problems affect aging
  4. Spirituality and older adults
  5. Mental health issues
  6. Role memory plays in aging

Journal content: Rather than simply reporting details, you must synthesize the interview content with the concepts you have learned from the course readings, lectures, and class discussions in this paper.

  1. Briefly describe the interview setting and the interviewee.
  2. Describe the themes/information that emerged during your discussion and apply them to major concepts.
  3. Incorporate three references in gerontological literature that apply to the major theme(s) that emerged from the interview and articulate your thoughts on what seems to be universal and what may be particular about your informant’s experience. 
  4. Conclude by describing your experience regarding the communications skills you employed in the interview.

The paper should be 4-6 pages not including the title and reference pages, written in APA format.

Be prepared to share your thoughts on this assignment with the class.

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