Gerontological Reminiscence


This essay sets to critically discuss various prompts that are related to healthy aging, acute and chronic co-morbid physical conditions that are associated with Morrie as exhibited in the movie, “Tuesdays with Morrie.” The essay will also comprehensively examine and discuss the modalities of reminiscence, life review and the importance of an elder’s life story, suggest the possible inference that can be made to facilitate effective communication for older adults who are physically and mentally impaired and lastly identify the impact of both culture and family values in provision of quality care for older individuals.

Discussion of Prompts as They Relate to Morrie

The movie, “Tuesdays with Morrie” involves a retired sociology professor by the name of Morrie who is suffering from a disease called Lou Gehrig. Mitch gets the chance to understand and acquire insight about the actual meaning of life especially of an older adult after visiting Morrie who shares with him his current predicaments that are associated with his old age and dying process. The audience can notice the various meaningful concepts that Morrie offers in this movie(Priadi, 2009). For instance, Morrie seems to appreciate life and is seen dancing and enjoying life even at the age of 77 which is a trait that is not common amongst older adults who are around this age. Morrie’s conditions keep on deteriorating as time goes on and at it becomes acute; he becomes both physically and mentally impaired thus leaving him bedridden. According to Morrie, aging is more of growth rather than decay as exhibited by his vast knowledge about things (Priadi, 2009). Morrie suggests that most of the youths are yet to the true meaning of their lives despite culture worshipping youths (Priadi, 2009). Moreover, Morrie claims that it is important to show someone love when he or she still alive since it becomes meaningless when shown to a dead person (Priadi, 2009).

Modalities of Reminiscence, Life Review and Importance of Life Story

In the effort of providing care to the elderly population, reminiscence therapy used in assisting the patients in overcoming feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety through recalling past events and thoughts(Elias,Neville & Scott, 2015). This therapy mostly involves engaging the patients in group communication where the participants are free to share and discuss both sad and happy past life experiences thus enabling them to learn from those lessons and give them the much insight that they need to make their present life better.

Simple and life review therapy are the two fundamental types of reminiscence therapies that are offered to individuals suffering from old age diseases (Elias, Neville & Scott, 2015). Simple reminiscence therapy helps in increasing the social well-being of an older person, and it is designed in a spontaneous and unstructured manner. Life review reminiscence therapy, on the other hand, is relatively more structured in such a way that it critically focuses on both negative and positive past experiences, It also assists in eradicating particular problems facing individuals who are severely anxious or depressed (Elias, Neville & Scott, 2015).

Instrumental, transmissive, spiritual and integrative therapies are some of the common reminiscence therapies that are used in treating older adults. They help individuals enhance their self-esteem to the next generation, evoke future hope and spark meaning in one’s life through sharing past experiences (Elias, Neville & Scott, 2015). These Therapies have several functions that are aimed at increasing the health and well-being of older adults. For instance, it helps patients appreciate themselves and develop their problem-solving skills.

Secondly, it enhances the ability of older adults to courageously share their positive and negative life stories to others so that they can learn from each other and even make smooth progress towards their death (Elias, Neville & Scott, 2015). Moreover, reminiscence therapy helps individuals in effectively dealing with boredom which is most common amongst the older adults especially those who are bedridden (Elias, Neville & Scott, 2015). The narration of life experiences stories by older adults is essential in the sense that it enables them to examine and determine the kind of heritage that they have left behind.

Possible Inferences of Improving Effective Communication Strategies for Physically and Mentally Impaired Older Adults

Overcoming the numerous obstacles such as limited health literacy, cultural and generational beliefs, physical or cognitive impairment and hearing or vision deficiencies can be achieved through effective communication across the healthcare settings (World Health Organization, 2017). When dealing with patients who have hearing problems, it is essential to maintain eye contact, ensure there is no noise in the background and speak clearly to enable the patient accurately watch the movements of your mouth and interrupt you if an issue is not yet clearly(Cascella, 2018).

Secondly, it is crucial to use audio rather than visionary sources of information, encourage the use of prescribed glasses and use adequate lighting when treating patients who have vision problems (Cascella, 2018). Thirdly, the use of plain language and wording sentences helps in effectively communicating with individuals who have language and cognitive problems as it helps in ensuring that the information is delivered clear. According to recent research by Cascella (2018), more than 66% of adults aged 60 in America have been found to have inadequate literacy skills (Cascella, 2018). Although they are not a remedy for all, the use of these communication techniques can help in facilitating effective communication between a caregiver and an elder patient.

Impact of Culture and Family Values in the Provision of Quality Care

Culture significantly influences how families act, judge, think, feel and do things(Council on Foundations, 2018). Children tend to adopt values and beliefs and perception about what is wrong or right from the family members during their childhood development stage thus confirming the importance of family values in determining the behavior and character exhibited by people in their adulthood and older stages of their lives(World Health Organization, 2017). There exists a direct correlation between the type of care that an older adult receives and his or her family values (Council on Foundations, 2018). Unlike in the past when care was mostly provided to elderly patients by their children, today there exists limited or no time and room for provision of care to the older adults by their children.

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