Recently, I visited a home for the elderly to have an interview with one of the residents there, who I would be referring to as Mrs. X. Both the name of the interviewee and the home are omitted to protect her privacy. Mrs. X was very cooperative and glad that someone was interested in her life story. The interview aimed to gain insight into the health of the elderly.
The interview was at home for the elderly as mentioned earlier. Mrs. X had been born and raised in the United States. However, her parents had passed when she was very young, though she could not clearly remember her age at the time. She had successfully attended school and later gotten married at the age of 19 years. She was blessed with four children all of whom are grown adults living their lives separately. She has also been blessed with five grandchildren. Despite acquiring her education, Mrs. X never got to work as she became a housewife and dedicated all her life taking care of her family. Her husband had passed away five years back.
For this research, I used interviews on a personal level with laid out questions. The life of the elderly has been diverse, and hence it is not possible to limit it to just a few questions. For this reason, the questions were mostly open-ended, and the interviewee was allowed to add any aspects of her life that she felt was essential to the research and which she was free to share. All this information was made known to Mrs. X before the interview began together with the confidentiality clause.
Gathering of information for the research was carried out using an audio recorder. This was the most effective method as it helped in capturing the tone and emotion that was in Mrs. X’s voice. However, her voice was a little course, and for words which I was sure to forget what she meant later, I jotted them down together with the time in the recording that they were said. It was also an effective method since during the interview we were moving around making it difficult to write down what she was saying. Moving around was a technique I employed to help ease her and reduce the formalities associated with interviews hence enabling her to open up further (Meyerhoff, 2016). Clarifying of the information would be carried out through transcription: This is where I put the words into writing punctuating them concerning her tone, and this helps in the analysis of the information and concluding.
Being in the home for the elderly, Mrs. X states that, there is not very much privacy. Despite having separate rooms, one is not allowed to lock their doors in case of an emergency. When a care provider knocks at your door, and there is no response for one reason or another, they are free the barge in since they may suspect that there is something wrong. Despite that, the care at the nursing home is sufficient and personalized; hence few people often fall ill without anyone easily noticing (Burack et al., 2012). The most demoralizing thing to the health of the elderly in the nursing home is the death of one of their own. Mrs. X states that once a person has died, it seems like there is a wave of sickness going around the nursing home. Many of the residents get sick, and this can be attributed to the sense of giving up and seeing that there is no continued reason for living if they are all going to end up dead at any time (Landi et al., 2010).
According to Mrs. X, having the opportunity to grow old has helped her to appreciate life. Through her life, she has lost parents, a husband, several relatives, and friends. Some of this death she says were as a result of lifestyle diseases caused by poor life choices: This has helped her in making life choices carefully especially those concerning health. Many of the elderly do not acquire lifestyle diseases at their old age. Those that are battling these type of conditions are probably the ones that bought them at a younger age (Tuominen, Leino-Kilpi & Suhonen, 2016). Despite the reduced ability to carry out physical exercises, the elderly eat healthily and avoid the use of substances detrimental to their health (Chen, 2010). However, a challenge that this age group faces is the lack of appetite. Most of the elderly have developed a sweet tooth over the years, despite the willingness to eat healthy meals, they are always faced with the temptation of eating unhealthily (Eide, Halvorsen & Almendingen, 2015). In Nursing home, they can get all the healthy meals. Mrs. X however, gets unhealthy treats whenever her children and grandchildren come visiting (Robins et al., 2013). It is more of a challenge for her because they are not able to refuse any of her requests.
Old age comes with many health challenges that are why many of the elderly are taken to the elderly nursing home to get specialized care and attention. However, following this interview, we can conclude that the barriers to the health of the elderly in nursing homes are the death of the others and the unhealthy foods brought by those visiting. A promoter of good health is the constant and specialized care and attention that they get around the clock. From their many years, they have also learned more and can make better-informed choices regarding their health.
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