Visits with older adults: written report / power point | GERN 5000 | Webster University

Part 1 Guidelines to Visits With Older Adults

The purpose of these visits is to give each student an opportunity to have an in-depth experience with at least one older person as a result of this class. It is hoped that each student will develop an understanding of the aged person and the society in which she/he developed.

The requirements are twofold:

  1. Choose any person over the age of 65 and visit that person at least three (3) times.
  2. Submit a report of at least five (5) pages for the three visits combined.

The following are offered as suggestions:

  1. See the samples listed below. Note the many topics and the variety of questions in Recording Your Family History as a basis for your interview. The chapters on family history, old age, and grandchildren especially may be helpful.
  2. Visits may, in part, facilitate a type of life review. See handout on Life Review before conducting your interview..
  3. There may be advantages to tape recording (audio and/or video) your visits but only with the permission of the aged person.
  4. Very important: Keep the comfort and preferences of your interviewee as a priority over completing this assignment. Reporting that you “backed off” due to signs of discomfort is acceptable.

Many different types of reporting formats are acceptable. For example, you may present almost verbatim the questions asked and the responses given by the aged individual, narrate in the form of a story, creatively combine the two approaches, or devise a format of your own.

Very Important: Regardless of the format used, a section titled “Introduction” is required. In the introduction, describe the person being visited (such things as age, relationship to you, etc.) and purpose of the visit other than meeting the course requirement. The purpose may include the topic(s) that you hope to address or what you most hope to learn from the interview, among other things.

A “Conclusion” section summarizing your thoughts and feelings regarding the visit is also highly recommended.


If you would like to see what previous students have written for this assignment, access the links below.

 Part 2

Provide a power point with an audio component to both your instructor under the Assignment section of the course and to your classmates in the Discussion section. 

Review the detailed instructions for this assignment. The power point should be based largely on your three visits plus anything else that you choose to include.

As part of the assignment, listen to your peers’ reports.

Textbooks & Resources:

Quadagno, Jill, Aging and the Life Course:  An Introduction to Social Gerontology, (Seventh Edition).  New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2018.
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