Aging and Family Parents Grandparents and Siblings
Aging and Family Parents Grandparents and Siblings
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Text book for assignment
Understanding Communication and Aging: Developing Knowledge & Awareness. 2nd Edition Written by: Jake Harwood. Publishing information: Cognella Academic Publishing (firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-200-3908. 2018. ISBN-13: 978-1516521296 or ISBN-10: 1516521293.
Reading Test C—-
There are a total of four questions here for section 1!
Sometimes it helps to see what people who are going through an experience think and feel.Intergenerational conflicts and resolution strategies are obviously communicatively complex and often unavailable to study except as a participant.Beloware examples of letters written to author Malcom Boyd by elderly individuals and their adult children.(These excerpts come for the magazine Modern Maturity.Malcom Boyd is sort of like an advice columnist, a “Dear Abby”).You have two questions that pertain to these seven letters with Malcom Boyd’s responses.
Question One:What strategies do you come up with to remedy the problems presented here?What role do you think communication plays in that process.Consider the number of times Boyd advises his letter writer to “self-disclose.”Can self-disclosure be a bad thing?
Question Two:As you read these excepts from letters written about intergenerational problems, see if you can see evidence for Intergenerational Solidarity Theory or Life-Span Attachment Theory.Does the information below support both theories, only one of the theories or neither theory?
Malcom Boyd writes:“Intergenerational conflicts and misunderstandings can cause pain and emotional bruises.Instead of finding nurturing and love within the family circle, some people encounter exactly the opposite.”
Letter # 1:A Nebraska man writes:“I don’t look forward to family gatherings because I come back with my self-esteem reduced to zero and feeling like a stereotypical older geezer.I’m rebuffed by my own children, giggled at, and made to feel my thoughts aren’t important.”
Letter #2:An Indiana reader describes in detail a truly unhappy situation.“I gave my money to my children, trusting them to take care of my needs when I grew older.But now that I have no money left, they have discarded me.How stupid I was not to take care of my security!I’m alone now, really alone.I need to understand what I did wrong.I guess I gave too much, cared too much.”
Boyd writes:“Many letters from elderly people tell similar stories.I also hear from their sons and daughters, members of the so-called sandwhich generation, whose reports have a different focus.”
Letter #3:A fifty-four-year-old woman writes from New York about the “hard burden” she bears in caring for her eighty-eight-year-old mother:“I’m angry that I am increasingly having to be a parent to someone whose self-centeredness and narcissism made her unable to be a mother to me.The simple, awful fact is that I respect my mother and love her as my flesh and blood, but I don’t like her and I wish she weren’t in my life.My fear is that she’s going to live on and on, growing more and more needful of my ‘parenting,’ and that I won’t be free of her presence until I’m approaching seventy myself.”
Letter #4:“My challenge involves my relationship with my mother-in-law of twenty-nine years.She’s eighty-nine.She has lost all semblance of a positive-outlook.She speaks only of her aches and pains and the bleakness of her life.I cannot deal with this negative approach to living.Whatever I try to do for her, nothing is ever right.”
Boyd writes:“Reflecting on these letters, I find the key word for what both sides need is empathy—which the dictionary defines as identification with and understanding of the situation, feelings, and motives of another person.Without this empathy, a great abyss can exist where there should be communication.Can we overemphasize that there’s no substitute for honest communication between people?Tell others what you feel!Try to explain why you feel as you do.This can lead to real understanding.”
Letter #5:“Sometimes I’m not delighted to hear what my mother needs and wants because it impinges on my time and energy.However, I prefer to know what she’s thinking and feeling, even if it results in conflict.The resolution of such conflicts has strengthened our friendship and the community that is our family.Love, I believe, is being open and seeking a resolution that may require mutual sacrafice.”
Letter # 6:“Many years ago my mother gave me a book that set my life on a self-respecting, self-valuing course.It says it’s quite okay to love yourself.If you don’t how can anyone else love you?If you think you’re not worth loving, then, by cracky, you’re not.If you think you’re not worth much, you will always be a problem—if not a pain—to be around.Is that what you want for yourself?Not I.”
Letter #7:“My life was lonely after I lost my husband,”a woman writes.“I volunteered at the hospital, bowled twice a week, was active at my church and kept my home.But there was still a terrible void in my life.Then my 23-year-old granddaughter told me to keep Wednesday evenings open for her.We take turns cooking, or sometimes we go out.You have no idea what this has done for me.We share a meal, talk, and just enjoy our friendship.Our talk may be about her work or what I’ve done the past week—just nice conversation.We sometimes cry together.But we laugh together as well.”
Boyd writes:“This grandmother and granddaughter have found a happy way to bridge the generation gap.Others could profit from their example.”
These last two questions are not based on the excerpts above.
Question Three:What functions do grandparents serve?How do the roles of grandfathers and grandmothers differ?While several typologies of grand-parenting styles exist, why do researchers argue that no such typology will ever capture the essence of the grandparent relationship?Be sure to discuss the role communication plays in your answer.
Question Four:Research suggests that marital partners become more like each other as time passes.Discuss this process of convergence and the role communication plays in this process.Be sure to address the notion of a socially constructed reality in your answer.
PART II :
Consider the Mary Pipher chapters from Another Country, (6) “Homesick for Heaven,” and (7) “The Weariest River” (located in Lectures 10, and 11 as assigned reading). What messages about communication and aging are conveyed as you make sense of each selection? —Consider the attitudes that emerge from each chapter, the significance of relationships, reflection, expression, that each evokes. Consider each chapter separately, and then comment on how thinking about each in relation to the other provides you with comparisons, contrasts, and conclusions about communication/communicating.
- In Chapter 3, Harwood discusses “identity” and how age is a big part of identity in most human beings. In Chapter 4, Harwood develops the concept of “face” and “face management” in relation to “age identity.” Reflecting on these constructs of identity, discuss how Kristina Minister’s experience with interviewing Ila Healy, and Barbara Myerhoff’s argument that seniors need more arenas for remembering, and presenting the experiences of their lives.
- Chapter 5 of Harwood discusses intergenerational relationships in older adults. How do older people cope with widow(er)hood, and how might dating in old age differ from dating among the young?
- The focus of Harwood’s Chapter 7 is enhancing communication with older adults. How could the Communication Enhancement Model presented in this chapter be used by a manager working in a restaurant (or professional office) frequented by a substantial older adult clientele? What are some ways in which someone in a nursing home might engage in “independent supportive” communication?
- While Harwood takes care in each chapter to discuss cultural differences, the aim of Chapter 10 is to specifically examine culture, communication, and aging. This question, and the next are both firmly situated in Chapter 10 of Harwood. Is there an equivalent for laodao in our/your culture? Illustrate understanding of the concept and the impact of redundancy, repetition, and occasions of “narrative arrest” (Minister), in conversation and relationships.
- Why is there less intergenerational conflict in high power-distance cultures? What sorts of policies relating to aging would you expect to see in high vs. low power-distance cultures?
- Harwood’s Chapter 11 looks at communication in health care contexts in his examination of health and health care. How might online support groups differ from those occurring offline? What are some strengths and weaknesses of each format?
- Throughout our textbook Harwood has made the claim “that there is a well-established psychological line between old age and health: We find it very difficult to think, talk, or write about older people without mentioning health. I have argued (and I hope you have been convinced!) that this can often be a bad thing. Obsessively linking aging with ill health can mean we forget about the positive aspects of old age and ignore the potential of older people….” (p. 222). Where and how do you position the work of Jean Amery and Elisabeth Layton in relation to this goal?
What appears below is a slight variation on what you find on page 283 of the textbook:
Positive and Negative Themes in Messages About Aging. There are many quotations listed below (22 to be exact). Decide which particular quotation seems to capture the most positive attitude toward aging and which the most negative attitude toward aging. What is the basis for your decision? As you do this, identify whether there are themes in these quotations that reflect some of the research findings you have read about in Harwood’s book (or are refuted by the research). Which statements, if any, address core theories that you have learned in the book (or elsewhere)? (15 pts).
- Such to me is the new image of aging: Growth in self and service for all humankind.
- I’m not interested in age. People who tell me their age are silly. You’re as old as you feel. (Elizabeth Arden)
- We grown neither better nor worse as we get old, but more like ourselves. (Mary Lamberton Becker)
- You may search my time-worn face—you’ll find a merry eye that twinkles, I am NOT an old lady, Just a girl with wrinkles! (Edythe E. Bregnard)
- Women are not forgiven for aging. Robert Redford’s lines of distinction are my old-age wrinkles. (Jane Fonda)
- When I was young, I was poor; when old, I became rich; but in each condition I found disappointment. When I had the faculties for enjoyment, I had not the means; when the means came, the faculties were gone.
- I enjoy my wrinkles and regard them as badges of distinction—I’ve worked hard for them!
- Once I looked in the mirror and saw my father’s tired eyes look back at me; reaching to smooth a vagrant hair, Mother’s wrinkled hand. Age came upon me unaware.
- I have everything I had twenty years ago, only it’s a little bit lower. (Gypsy Rose Lee)
- Age is totally unimportant. The years are really irrelevant. It’s how you cope with them.
- There is a fountain of youth; it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age. (Sophia Loren)
- Being seventy is not a sin. (Golda Meir)
- Age doesn’t protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age. (Jeanne Moreau)
- Thank God I have the “seeing eye.” That is to say, as I lie in bed I can walk step by step on the fells and rough land seeing every stone and flower and patch of box and cotton pass where my old legs will never again take me. (Beatrix Potter)
- We can go into a quiet retirement, which is the traditional stereotype of a 65 year-old, or we can tak a risk and put ourselves out where the action is.
- When men reach their sixties and retire they go to pieces. Women just go right on cooking. (Gail Sheehy)
- So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls, why doesn’t somebody wake up to the beauty of old women? (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
- He who would pass his declining years with honor and comfort, should, when young, consider that he might one day become old, and remember when he is old, that he had once been young. (Joseph Addison)
- Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. (Mark Twain)
- Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. (George Bernard Shaw)
- We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. (Anais Nin)
- What I liked most about Miu was that she didn’t try to hide her age. According to Sumire, she must be thirty-eight or thirty-nine. And indeed she looked that age. With her slim, tight figure, a little makeup and she’d easily pass for late twenties. But she didn’t make the effort. Miu let age naturally rise to the surface, accepted it for what it was, and made her peace with it. (Haruki Murakami)
Supposedly, one of the benefits of growing older is that you can receive Medicare. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for the elderly. To find out what the benefits would be if you were 65 years old today, go to www.medicare.gov/publications/handbook.html. Then visit the Medicaid website. Medicaid is a federal insurance plan for the poor and is administered by state welfare agencies. For the states of Louisiana and Mississippi the website addresses are:
www.dhh.state.la.us/medicaid and www.dom.state.ms.us/medicaid
Write a post that details the process you would have to go through to determine if the family member you wish to have admitted into a nursing home, is eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. What would the benefits be and the out of pocket costs be? How difficult is this task? Explain/Discuss the communication issues this makes you realize.
(A variation on this task that I have had students do in face-to-face classes is to put earplugs in your ears and call these agencies to get the information your would need to write this same essay detailing the process you would have to go through to determine if a family member you think needs to be in a nursing home is eligible for Medicare/Medicaid. It puts you directly in the experience of many with a disability trying to gather information.)
A “mini-evaluation of the Medicare/Medicaid website of your choice”
After reading the resource entitled Websites and The Elderly, and completing your post on the experience of trying to find out if your relative qualifies for assistance from Medicare, write another post in which your make general observations about the website itself, and/or other websites you visit through the new “eyes” of the needs of elderly web-users.
Okay, A short “where we’ve been, to understand how it shapes where we are going,” type of assignment-framing rap:You are supplied with a few student papers on personal knowledge of and memories of old people, to read for the pleasure/insight they provide(see resource titled “Memo #3 Supplementary Reading).You’ve read an analysis of how early film images of old women impressed and shaped the perceptions of Vivian Sobchak.Mary Lee Hummert’s catalogue of 17 stereotypes that influence perceptions of the elderly is also in your recent realm of influence.We’ve got a plethora of images and experiences swirling.Now, you have to focus on two specific images from popular everyday culture and analyze them.
This task involves focusing on two mediated images of “aging,” “aged,” or “old.”These can be advertisements in magazines, cartoons, greeting cards, commercials, photography, etc.It is possible that you can reproduce the image, through scanning, or providing a link to such a resource,but if you cannot be extremely specific about what you are focusing on—using detailed, thick description you can tell us where and when you encountered the artifact(s) you focus on, what context it/they appeared in, their duration (in time, space),how the eye /ear encounters what it does. You should assume your reader’s have no exposure to the artifacts you select, and so need to describe them in as much detail as is needed to picture, comprehend, imagine what you are analyzing and evaluating.What gets said, done, portrayed, in what sequence.What do we first encounter, what is our last or concluding image? You are examining the messages contained in these artifacts.What idea or image of aging, aged or old is conveyed through the artifacts you have selected?What idea or image of aging, aged, or old is shaped, constructed, and/or assumed through the design of these mediated messages?What do you think is the intention of the image/artifact you have selected.To what extent, if any,are particular barriers to conversation/interaction with the elderly addressed in the artifacts you have selected for analysis.