Introductionof the older adult
Reasonsfor selecting T.B. for a life review interview
Imet T.B. through my grandfather, who studied in the same school withT.B. There are two major factors that motivated me to select T.B. asthe best candidate for the life review interview. First, T.B. has agood memory of his past in spite of his age, which made it easy torecord his biography. Secondly, one can tell from his casualconversation with friends that he is proud of his past. This wasimportant because it gave me confidence that he could not conceal anyinformation during the interview.
T.Bis an 82 year old African American, who lives in Fulton town that islocated in Rockport County, Texas. T.B. was born in the city ofQuincy, Illinois, where he spent his childhood and a better part ofteenage. He moved with his parents to the current residential area(Fulton) at the age of 18 years. At Fulton, T.B. got a part time jobwhere he worked as an office administrator in construction firm. Hisfirst Job in the road and bridge construction company gave him aninterest to pursue a career in that line. This culminated in himenrolling at Texas Tech University in 1954 (at the age of 21 years)where he later graduated with a Bachelors Degree in civilEngineering. T.B. married his high school girlfriend at 22 yearswhile still pursuing his degree. The couple was blessed with threechildren, two sons and one daughter.
Soonafter graduating, T.B. was employed by the state government of Texasas an assistant city planner before quitting the civil job in 1962,at the age of 29 years. He then started a consulting firm that wasbased in Texas City. He retired from active roles in his consultingfirm in 2003 (at the age of 70 years) and left it to his firstbornson. Soon after retiring, T.B travelled to different places with hiswife for a period of 7 years, after which she died at the age of 74years. Since then, T.B. has been living alone before he often visitshis friends within the two and other parts of the State of Texas.
Analysisof life review interview
Lifereview versus ordinary remembering
Theconcepts of life review and ordinary remembering have two majorsimilarities. First, the two process subject individuals tosituations that require a recall of the past experiences and events.For example, the present life review interview gave T.B. anopportunity to recall his school and career life. Secondly, the twoprocesses can be done for both educational and therapeutic purposes(Haber, 2006). When conducted for educational purposes, the twoprocesses facilitate the passage of the past experience and knowledgeto the new generation. When conducted for the therapeutic purses,life review and ordinary remembering help individuals cope withguilt, loss, defeat or find the meaning in their own accomplishments.For example, the life review interview gave T.B. an opportunity torecall his academic success and career breakthrough where he managedto start up a consultant office while still a young man.
Thetwo concepts (life review and ordinary remembering) differ from eachother in two ways. First, life review is a structured process thatinvolves a series of questions and answers while ordinary rememberingis spontaneous process that starts even without one’s conscious(Haber, 2006). This implies that life review has to be initiatedwhile ordinary remembering is in most cases an automatic process.Secondly, the life review is more of an evaluative process thatforces individuals being interviewed to come to terms with both goodand bad experiences (Haber, 2006). In ordinary remembering, on theother hand, negative moments are often omitted. For example, theevaluative process of life review considered in the present interviewforced T.B. to recall the death of his wife, which would not havebeen desirable in the case of ordinary remembering.
Goalsand benefits of life review
Evaluatingone’s progress in completing some mission: Life review gives one anopportunity to recall the previous successes, failures, andexperiences. This process helps people determine whether they haveachieved the missions they had from their early stages of life(Williams, 2014).
Toeducate or inform about one’s life: The life review process helpsthe people undertaking the review understand why they are the waythey are, motives behind their past actions, how their lives impacted(positively or negatively) others, and how they could have donebetter (Williams, 2014). Therefore, the goal of life review is tohelp an individual become a better person by analyzing the past.
Attainingsoul growth: Life review allows an individual to remember both thepositive and the negative experiences (Williams, 2014). This allowspeople undertaking the review understand that life has a lot ofpositive things to rejoice about, besides the negative encountersthat affect human life in a negative way.
Developmentof a certified training program: This is a long-term goal that can beachieved when the life review process is considered as an educationalprocess (Haber, 2006). The training program is developed in a waythat it enhances the likelihood of effective and safe intervention tohealth challenges affecting older adults.
Erickson’sego integrity is a basic concept that considers individual’s lifeas being appropriate, inevitable, and meaningful. During the laststage of development (ego integrity versus despair), the older adultsstart contemplating about the past accomplishments and failures.Those who perceive they managed to accomplish something in lifedevelop a higher level of integrity while those who think that theywere unsuccessful feel dissatisfied with life and develop despair(McLeod, 2015). In the case of T.B., the interview indicates that hefelt satisfied with the past accomplishments. Therefore, T.B. can begiven a score of 8 on the Erikson’s ego integrity scale.
T.B.stated many things that he was proud of about in nearly all stages oflife. For example, he expressed a lot of excitement when stating thathis participation in school soccer team during teenage is one of themost outstanding things in his memory. When describing the atmospherein his home, T.B. could recalls the best moments he experienced withhis parents and siblings who encouraged him to continue witheducation in spite of the financial challenges that his family wentthrough. The age between 20 and 30 years is the most precious periodin T.B.’s life. During this period, T.B. earned a Bachelors degree,got married, got two out of his three children, got a job soon aftergraduation, and started his own firm at the age of 29 years. Allthese successes makes T.B. feel that he accomplished all that waswithin his ability. Therefore, T.B. was able to develop integrity asopposed to despair.
Theinterview with Mr. T.B. was an enlightening experience given that itinformed me much about the goals as well as the benefits of the lifereview. The interview experienced provided me with an opportunity toapply or see different aspects of life review in real life afterreading about life review in the textbooks. In addition, myinteraction with T.B. during the interview helped me understand howthe past experiences influence the perception of an individual duringthe old age.
Themost significant point in the interview occurred when asking T.B.questions about his life during adolescence. His high tone and asmile on the face, I could tell that his adolescence was among themost exciting stages in his life. For example, T.B. seemed so excitedwhen explaining his success in soccer and interaction with friends assome of the outstanding memory about being an adolescent.
Themost difficult part of the interview occurred when T.B. wasexplaining his experience when his wife died at the age of 74 years.The incident changed his life after the closest friend with whom hehad spent a several decades with and a mother of his three children.
Myapproach to elders has changed from the time of interview henceforth.I now understand that the elder’s perception about life as well astheir psychological wellbeing is highly influenced by their pastexperiences. This means that it is important to consider theirexperiencing when treating them in order to address the underlyingnegative impacts that previous events and experiences might haveimparted in them.
Legacyrefers to something (material and immaterial) that one receives fromancestors and passes them to descendants. On my part, I would like toleave a legacy of excellence. The legacy of excellence implies that Iwould like to set the high bar for those who are around me in allaspects of life, including career and general life.
Haber,D. (2006). Life review: Implementation, theory, research, andtherapy. InternationalJournal and Human Development,63 (2), 153-171.
McLeod,S. (2015). Erik Erikson. SimplyPsychology.Retrieved April 27, 2015, fromhttp://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html#ego
Williams,K. (2014). The life review and the near-death experience. Near-DeathExperiences and the Afterlife.Retrieved April 27, 2015, fromhttp://www.near-death.com/experiences/research24.html#a02