Life History Project

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LIFE

HISTORY

PROJECT

By Lorraine Ward
PSY 355
5/14/09

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract ……………………………………………………………………………….. 3

Life History Research ……………………………………………………………. 4-8

Works Sited Page ………………………………………………………………….. 9

Appendix ……………………………………………………………………………… 10- 15

Photo of Interviewee ……………………………………………………………. 16

ABSTRACT:
This research delves into the special concerns of aging. I look at options that to

be explored to make life more satisfying for senior citizens. Harry Lo Vette was my

interviewee and his answers are similar to others his age, depending on

educational background, socioeconomic status, mental and physical health.

Programs need to be implemented for older adults and their families to discuss

the lifespan.

Lorraine Ward 5/1/2009 PSY 355 Life History Paper

I chose to do the life history interview. I interviewed my neighbor/family friend, Harry E. Lo Vette. I learned a lot of interesting facts about Harry. He is the type of person that you can have a conversation with for hours and lose track of the time. Our interview took at least two hours. I have decided to have my parents fill out a questionnaire. This will be great to look back on, when my children have their own children. I am going to fill one out, too. I think it is a great way to record people in your family. My great, great, great-grandchildren may find it comforting to hear that we started cleaning up our planet or that cars ran on gas or moon hotels hadn’t developed, yet. These could be included in time capsules to show how we’ve evolved through generation to generation.

There are many similarities between my interview and what we discussed in class. The one that bothers me the most is the acceptance of pain. Harry said he had overall good health but later in the interview said “I hurt. I take a few pills & it makes you feel dumb in the head & the pain goes away for half an hour.” I know my grandmother suffers with pain, too and she takes hands full of prescription medication. A man at my job takes 15 different vitamin and medications, twice a day. He suffers with pain. I don’t understand why take the pills if you are still going to hurt? Why prescribe a medication that obviously doesn’t work? Why are we not looking for alternative methods to take their pain away, if medications/pain relievers aren’t working? It seems to me that the physicians are just dealing with the pain and not the cause. Do we just put our elderly on a shelf? “Here, take these. Go home and come back when these are gone.” Your children and grandchildren have their hectic lives and visit between PTA meetings, softball, and soccer games. Your friends either can’t drive, have passed on, go south for winter, or are in a nursing home, possibly suffering more than you. We treat animals better than we treat our elderly and our country is supposed to be a great place to live….. We must look into changing this. “…there is more to aging than meets the eye!” (Althoff, pg. 9)

“For some, later years are a time of struggle, while others enjoy greater success” (Crosnoe, pg. 310). This may be because of good physical and mental health or because of their socioeconomic status being a positive one. According to Crosnoe, three criteria must be met to have a successful adaptation to aging. These criteria are; family engagement, occupational success, and civic involvement. We must remember that everyone is unique in their aging process, also. These factors are relevant to a subject’s differences in longevity and aging; biological background, education, occupation, marital status and family life, ethnic group, geographic location, housing,...
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