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Observation: Older Adult, 65+, Interview Example

Pages: 1

Words: 627

Interview

Demographics

The subject’s name is Jean and she is seventy-three years of age. Jean lives in a small suburban home that belongs to her widowed mother. Only the two of them reside in the house.  As the mother is largely incapacitated, Jean attends to maintaining the home and their lives.

Background Information

Jean is a Caucasian woman from the South. She has a pronounced Southern accent and prides herself on old-fashioned Southern views, although she is culturally open to modern life and attitudes. She was raised as a girl in the Baptist church, but she has not been attended church regularly for many years; the only occasions on which she has gone are weddings and funerals.

While well-spoken, Jean’s education ended with high school graduation. She enjoys reading, as she has all her life, but usually only popular novels. Physically, she is a small, seemingly frail woman, and thin. She considers herself fortunate to have no pressing health issues, except for mild rheumatoid arthritis, which she addresses with simple exercise and pain medications.

Jean has been a widow for over twenty years; her husband died of heart trouble. She married at the age of nineteen and had her only child, a boy, at the age of twenty. Her son died sixteen years ago, from the congenital heart trouble which ended her husband’s life. She was fifty-seven at the time.

Age Appropriate Development

Jean appears to be at an acceptable stage of age development. She is actively aware of her senior status and takes advantage of benefits for seniors through government and private agencies. She has never worked at an outside job in her life. She views being a homemaker as her work, as she continues the role with her mother.

Role Performance

Jean sees her role in life as that of a caregiver, albeit one restricted to immediate family. She will, as she has in the past, occasionally do light volunteer work, such as helping out at the library and organizing events there, but this involvement is minimal because caring for her mother demands a nearly constant level of attendance at home; she gives about two to three hours per week at the library.

Jean reads for about an hour each night before retiring, and she and her mother watch classic movies most nights, usually for two hours each evening. Only when a neighbor can sit with her mother does she feel free to go out for a few hours, and she takes walks almost every afternoon, for no more than twenty minutes. Being a caregiver for her mother, who is ninety years old, is clearly the central factor of her life.

Activities

Jean shows a great determination to be as independent as possible. Aside from the small amount of volunteer work at the library, she exhibits little active involvement in any sphere outside of the home. Because of her arthritis and her role as caregiver, she maintains a schedule of walking for fitness, which permits her to leave the home for brief periods.

Observation

I observed Jean playing Bingo at a recreation center, an unusual outing for her. This is where she consented to speak with me. She interacted with the other women there, most of whom were of her age range, in a friendly but not intimate manner. She seemed to enjoy herself but maintained a distance, and she repeatedly checked the time.

Summary

Jean is an independent senior woman with a realistic grasp on her limitations and her life. Not very social, she prefers things as they are and seems to like her responsibility in tending to her mother. She monitors her health because of this duty. Despite an over-all manner of being removed from mainstream life, Jean appears to be both settled and not at all unhappy. She exhibits strong self-awareness, and seems to especially value her own independence.

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