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Senior Mentor - Essay Example

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Senior Mentor Project: A Conversation with an 82 Year Old Community Member BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE DATE HERE School Mentor Project: A Conversation with an 82 Year Old Community Member Introduction In order to gain insight into what drives sentiment of lifestyle, care needs, death and dying, as well as to enhance self-insights into the aging process, a conversation was conducted with a study participant, Elena Flowers, an 82 year old community member with a rather active lifestyle…
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Download file to see previous pages To provide effective health care as a practicing caregiver, it was necessary to identify what factors are involved in senior lifestyle and understand the psychological and sociological characteristics important to this demographic, especially pertaining to death, dying, spiritualism and the potential complexities of attitude associated with these dimensions. The conversation indicated that elderly lifestyle can be quite productive and fulfilling, as well as indicating that perceptions of death and dying are quite potent after reaching advanced age. Death, Dying, Socialization and Emotion The researcher was cautious about introducing the concept of death and dying during what was a rather superfluous discussion of social engagement and thoughts regarding the importance of maintaining a strong social network after reaching advanced years. The researcher waited until the participant indicated recent losses that had occurred as a result of advanced age within their social network to begin introducing thoughts about death and dying. However, once the participant became comfortable with the mannerism and sincerity of the researcher, the respondent was forthright about her sentiment and emotional attachment to lost friends and her own mortality. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1969) provided a hypothesis indicating that there are specific stages that occur during bereavement that dictate the time it takes to heal from loss and how an individual is able to assess their own feelings or fears related to mortality. The first stage is denial, in which the individual refuses to accept that a loved one has passed on. Flowers had, just in the last three months, lost a very close friend along her network that often engaged in the aforementioned lifestyle activities enjoyed by the participant and her social network. Several of her friends, after the loss, demanded that the brunch party set a serving plate in an empty chair for the individual who had passed on at the age of 78 of a sudden heart attack. This caused Elena Flowers considerable discomfort, however she did not want to frustrate or anger the two friends who were adamant that a place should be provided for the lost acquaintance. When Flowers had suggested, on-time only, that this activity was not productive or necessarily healthy thinking, she met with considerable aggression and accusations that Flowers was heartless and unfeeling. Flowers felt that their own thoughts about mortality, since the lost friend had died so suddenly of a massive heart attack, were what was driving this denial. It was not necessarily denial that the loved one had perished, but attempts to protect themselves from the reality that their life spans were quickly reaching their end. Santrock (2007) states that this type of behavior is common and is designed to protect oneself psychologically from having to face the difficult emotions of losing a loved one. However, Elena Flowers was more of a pragmatist, a realist, who seemed to have come to grips with the reality that she, too, would one day meet her natural end. Though this was only a small sample of potential elderly citizens in today’s society, Flowers was keenly aware that she would one day pass on and wanted very much to get the most out of life she could ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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