a. Proposal / Script submission: 50 points b. Life Review Paper submission: 150 overall points distributed as following:
Interview: 25 points
Application of Theory: 75 points
Reflection: 25 points
Paper organization, grammar, spelling, APA, etc.: 25 points
Background Information for our Life Review Paper
Life review, as described by Robert Butler, is a naturally occurring, universal mental process prompted by the realization of a foreshortened life expectancy. It potentially proceeds a reorganization of the self, including the achievement of such characteristics as wisdom and serenity in the aged. The process consists of reminiscence, thinking about oneself, and a reconsideration of previous life experiences and their meaning.
Butler’s description of the life review process closely parallels Erikson’s last stage of development, which is a dynamic between integrity vs. despair. For some older persons, the process of thinking about the past may lead to depression and obsessive rumination or to life’s successful resolution. However, the life review process holds the potential for the older adult to reach ever-increasing levels of self-awareness. The crucial task of such life review is to evaluate one’s life and accomplishments and to accept the whole, both the good and the difficulties, as all necessarily a part of one’s own individual life. This sense of embracing life confirms that one’s story has been “a meaningful adventure in history.”
The results are life long-lasting memories, which may be given to the elder and may be shared with younger family members.
Life Review Paper Components (Proposal/Script and Life Review)
Before you start writing your Life Review Paper, you will need to submit via Dropbox the “Proposal / Script.” This submission will be graded, and feedback will be provided. Only after this submission is graded can you start working on your paper.
The Proposal portion is a plan about how you will complete this assignment. Before you decide what questions you will want to ask your interviewee, you must first write two to three paragraphs stating what you will want to learn from this assignment.
For the Script portion, you will need to come up with a series of questions (script) that you will want to ask the older adult you are interviewing. These questions should cover the history of the person’s life and capture the essence of the older adult. These questions should also help you assess the older adult using the BioPsychoSocial model. A good set of questions for a paper of this caliber will consist of 10-15 questions. The questions should be derived from our course concepts such as chronic disease, biology of aging, love and intimacy, social interactions, living arrangements, economic security, productive aging, retirement, and death and dying, as well as an application of the Biopsychosocial model.
Make sure your questions are open-ended (cannot be answered by a simple Yes or No). For example, Do you remember your favorite childhood memory is a closed-ended question. What is your favorite childhood memory is an open-ended way to write this question.
This includes the a) Interview, b) Theory Application, and Reflection.
How to conduct your interview
Begin by briefly expressing your interest in learning about the elder’s life and set an appointment for a convenient time and place where the interview will take place. Explain that you will use this interview as a class assignment and ask for permission from the older person at his time to share the interview with your professor/class.
Interview your subject in a quiet private location; it is recommended that no others are present during the interview. You can use a recording device to record the interview process and your subject’s answers. By recording the interview rather than taking notes, it will give you the chance to focus on other types communications such as body language, facial expression, etc., which will help with your descriptive skills while writing your paper. Make sure the elder is comfortable and you are seated in a position to be heard (you could also maintain eye contact if in the elder’s cultural background eye contact is a form of being polite). Allow adequate time for the interview but do not prolong it to more than two sessions. The Interview is the telling of the story of the life of the elder you interviewed. This section is written as Q& A (question and answer) format.
Biopsychosocial Model Application
This portion allows you to incorporate course material to your case study life experiences. In this section, you must incorporate what you learned from the interview to class lecture and the course’s readings. You need to: (1) define the biopsychosocial model, and (2) describe how the components of wellness are identifiable in your interviewee’s life to describe his/her wellness at the time of interview.
In your reflection, you need to (1) apply 3 course concepts from class materials to the interview. Don’t forget: whenever you cite a source you need to give the appropriate APA reference (author, year).
Also in your reflection, you will (2) reflect on what you learned from this assignment, to include: (a) what you learned from the older adult, (b) what you learned from the interview process, (3) what you learned from this writing process (e.g., submitting a script and then the final paper, (4) what you would have done different through this process and explain why, and (5) describe your own personal reactions associated with one’s own aging process. ALL of these components have to be in your reflection for full credit.
A final note:
This is not only a writing assignment. It is also designed to give you experience with interviewing skills. This is a case study – a qualitative research project of a single case. Give it your best effort and you will learn something valuable by listening to a real-life story.
The Life Review Interview should present a full picture of your subject’s life. Details help. To accomplish this, you will need to be an engaged listener, involving yourself in the person’s story, and not just completing a class assignment. You may need to interview the person twice, going back for more detailed answers in areas that interest you. At times, you may need to rephrase some of the questions to make them better understood. You may need to prompt the older adult, using such phrases as “tell me more,” “I think I understand, you were…” etc. Do not force the person to go into detail about a topic if he/she is uncomfortable! Allow the interviewee to talk about what interests him/her, BUT move him/her along so you can have a story that covers the whole life. You can get the interview moving along by saying things like, “I would like to hear more on that later if we have time. Now, I’d like to ask you about…” A tape recorder really helps you to get the most out of the interview; however, it is not mandatory.

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