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Assignment Paper: Personal Interview with an Older Adult (Essay Sample)


Arrange a 30-minute (approximate) interview with an adult at least 65 years of age, but preferably older. After introducing yourself (if necessary) and briefly describing your reason for conducting the interview, ask them to respond to the following questions:
Personal History: Ask your interviewee about themselves; their age, where and when they were born, where they lived, their family, education, occupation and other general biographical information. Ask them to identify a few very meaningful/memorable events in their lives…these could be personal (their wedding, death of a spouse) or historical (a war, moon landing).
What is old? Ask them to define what the word “old” means to them. Ask them to identify what they believe are the best years of a person’s life and to explain their answer. Next, ask them what they believe are the best things about being their age. What are the worse things about being their age? (Have them explain their answer). Ask them to identify any problems or concerns they have now that they did not have when they were younger. Again, have them explain their answer.
Attitudes: It is often said that America is a youth-oriented society. What does your interviewee think about this statement? Ask them if they think people treat them differently now than when they were younger. (Explain, give examples). Do they think that older people are fairly represented by the popular media like TV or movies? (Have them explain their answer).
Use of Time: How do they use their time? Have them describe a “typical” day. What activities are they involved in? Have their leisure activities changed over the course of their lives? Again, have them explain.
Retirement: If they continue to hold a job ask them why? If retired, ask them about their level of satisfaction with retirement. Do they miss work at all? Was the transition/adjustment to retirement difficult for them? Ask them to explain.
Younger Generations: Ask them to describe some of the differences and similarities between their generation and your generation.
Meaningful Later Life: Ask them to describe some of the things that give their life meaning (things that are important to them). If they were willing to offer you some advice about growing older, what would it be? (Again, have them explain their response).
After you have completed the interview, fulfill the requirements for the written portion of this assignment in the following manner. 
First, provide some basic demographic information…identify your interviewee by name (FIRST NAME ONLY), by gender, by age (if known), the location of the interview, and any other potentially relevant information (if they are related to you, their level of education, their occupation, etc.). Limit this to 1 or 2 paragraphs.
Second, highlight your interviewee’s responses to the questions asked. Try to limit this to 2 pages.
Third, provide a subjective analysis of the interview. In no more than 2 pages I would like you to describe your reaction to your “subject’s” responses. Did they say things that surprised you? What did you learn about later life as your interviewee has experienced it? Which of the social theories of aging described in your text best describes your interviewee? Explain why you chose the theory that you did. Finally, what was your overall reaction to this assignment? Did you learn anything that helped you to better understand/appreciate the subject matter of this course?
Length: Five full typed pages (in addition to the cover and bibliography). 
Rules: Double-space text; use one-inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right); use 12-point font type – Times New Roman only; attach a cover sheet, mentioning the topic you have chosen (see above) and your name; let your surname appear on the upper right hand corner of each sheet of paper except the cover; grammar, style, and spelling are all important; and follow proper citation procedures. 
All word-for-word, direct quotes should be put in quotation marks and followed by the author’s last name, year of publication, and page number in parentheses. Quotes of more than three lines do not need quotation marks, but must be indented and single-spaced, also followed by the author’s last name, year of publication, and page number in parentheses. If you summarize, in your own words, the phrases or ideas of another person, you do not have to use quotation marks, but you still have to cite the source, by indicating the author’s last name, year of publication, and page number in parentheses. 
Make sure you save your work and submit it in the correct APA format. 
Plagiarism includes the act of paraphrasing, repeating in one’s own words, or copying the work of another author without crediting the sources. Any cases of academic dishonesty will be dealt with according to the rules outlined in the Georgia Southern University “Student Guide: Code of Student Conduct, Guide to Student Services, University Policies & Procedures” and “Faculty Guide for Adjudicating Academic Misconduct.”


Personal interview with an older adult
Student Name
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Basic demographic information
In an attempt to find out about the process of aging and what it imply to someone who is regarded an older adult, I interviewed a man, Paul who is 71 years old. Paul is the oldest of two brothers and one sister, who all grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. Paul was born in 1945 in New Jersey and later migrated to Pennsylvania where he lives up to now. He worked as a bartender and schooled up to primary level. The colorful wedding memories are vivid on Paul mind; although he is divorced with his wife, he termed the wedding as the best memory in his life. Paul argues that someone is considered old when he has reached 65 years and above or has retired and require higher amounts of regular health care. He suggest the youthful years as the best years of a person’s life. He states that in youthful years an individual is energetic, young and has the freedom to act wild and have fun (Lee, 2014).
Benefits of old age
However, Paul argues that old age also presents myriad of benefits including enhanced wisdom and the opportunity to continue to learn about oneself and grow from those reflections. On the other hand, Paul states that old age comes with a fair share of troubles, such as dreaded aches and relentless pains. As the conversation between Paul and me continued on however, I noted that he actually have worries about old age that became more evident in his suggestion to financial matters, as well as a poor job he do to cater for his basic needs. Paul says that thirty years ago, he was financial stable, but now he has nothing. He can hardly make the rent for his apartment and do not have any retirement benefits. When I asked him for his opinion about America being considered a youth-oriented society he commented that America is globally known for embracing diversity, but not when it comes to age. He further noted that Americans would spend billions to conceal, slow down, reverse, and refute the aging process. Paul argued that people usually treat him different now from when he was younger. He states that some people assume that he has experienced either physical impairment or memory loss due to his age Furthermore, some people ignore or do not take him serious because he is old (Lee, 2014).
Media representation of old people
Paul notes that media do not represent older people fairly. The media, such as TV programs, movies, and the literature depict older adults as Ken and Barbie with gray hair and no wrinkles or as pitiful, absentminded, and cranky old geezers. In addition, several novel or newspaper articles talk about an aged adult who is 60 years and is barely able to care for himself or herself. Paul still works as a bartender to cater for his basic needs. He state that he was not lucky to get a job that would have seen him retire at the age of 65 and be granted retirement benefits, thus he is obliged to continue working in order to make ends meet.
Use of time
Paul wakes up at 6am, prepare some breakfast, and then go to work. He arrives at work at 8 am and leave at 3 pm. After work, he comes back home and then do exercises like lifting 10-pound weights, knee bends, and sit-ups. Then he takes a shower, prepare dinner, watch his favorite channel on the TV then he sleeps. Paul leisure activities have changed over the course of his life. He enjoyed swimming and riding bicycles during his free time, but due to his old...
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