Perspectives on Ageing
This assessment task has two parts, which need to be undertaken in the following sequence:
Part 1: The Conversation
Undertake a conversation with an acquaintance, friend or relative who is seventy years or older in order to understand his or her view of the world and to help you analyse your own perspectives on ageing. Your person must be living in the community OR possibly living in an independent living unit managed by an aged care facility. Under no circumstances are you to interview an older person who is living in a high care or low care residential aged care facility.
Meet with your person before the conversation takes place to explain why you want to speak with them and ensure they are willing and interested in participating. Arrange a mutually agreeable time and place for the conversation. You should let them know it will take about half an hour to an hour and that you may arrange to have a second conversation if you both think it would be beneficial. After this initial meeting it is imperative that you write down what you expect they will identify as significant issues in their life.
Do not undertake the conversation until you have documented your expectations!
In conducting the conversation, do not audio or video record the conversation. Write some notes about what was discussed as soon as possible afterwards. The notes will help you write your essay. If the person agrees, it can be helpful to ask for some personal information such as marital status, ethnic origin, age, social status and social and family supports. Depending on their relevance, you can choose whether to refer to these in your paper.
Questions you might ask to get started could include:
? Looking back over your life, what has been most important to you?
? What is important to you at this point in your life?
? Do you think of yourself as old? In what ways/ or not?
? In what ways does your age affect how people relate to you?
? Is your age a factor in how you relate with other people? In what ways?
Part 2: The Essay:
The aim of the essay is to reflect on ‘taken for granted’ aspects of your understanding of older people and how you believe your understandings have developed. You should make use of relevant scholarly literature to help construct meanings from your personal experience.
In your essay:
1. Briefly outline what you expected to be a significant issue or issues for your person before you meet with them.
2. Discuss whether or not your expectations were correct – think about ways in which your views were confirmed or disrupted by what you learned in the conversation.
3. Develop an analysis which explores;
(a) differences between what you expected to find and what you actually found;
(b) similarities between what you expected to find and what you actually found.
With respect to (a) or (b) above, draw on relevant literature to develop an analysis of how your background and personal experiences might have shaped your perspectives on older people and how this might help explain similarities or difference between what you expected would be an issue for the person and what you found when you conducted the
The aim is to expose ‘taken for granted’ aspects of your understanding of older people and how these understandings developed. You will need to draw on relevant literature to help you make sense of your experience. It is important that you include the complete notes
that you took during/following your conversation, with any sections you wish to remain confidential blacked out, in an appendix to your paper.
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