We have talked a lot about the aging process and what it is like to grow old, but the best way to gain a better perspective on this topic is to go straight to the source. So, I’d like you to take some time to sit and talk with someone over the age of 70. You are welcome to use a family member for this project, but you can also consider friends of the family or perhaps even visiting a nursing home. I’d like you to have a conversation with them, not necessarily an interview, but I am going to give you some tips for things to consider below.

When you are done share a summary of your conversation with them and reflect on it. What did you learn? Do you have a new appreciation for what its like to be an older person in our society today? Relate your conversation back to what you learned in this course. Cite at least one course material.

  1. If a young person asked you, “What have you learned in your ____ years in this world,” what would you tell him or her?
  2. Some people say that they have had difficult or stressful experiences but they have learned important lessons from them. Is that true for you? Can you give an example?
  3. As you look back over your life, do you see any “turning points”; that is, a key event or experience that changed the course of your life or set you on a different track?
  4. What would you say you know now about living a happy and successful life that you didn’t know when you were twenty?
  5. What can younger people do to avoid having regrets later in life?
  6. What would you say are the major values or principles that you live by?
  7. In what ways do you think I’m like you? And not like you?
  8. Who is the person who influenced your life the most?
  9. Do you have a lost love?
  10. Which new technology have you found most helpful in your life? Which do you find to be the most annoying?
  11. Is there anything you have always wanted to tell me but never have?
  12. Is there anything you regret not having asked your parents?
  13. Do you wish anything had been different between us, or would you still like to change something?
  14. What was the happiest moment of your life?
  15. What are you most proud of?
  16. How did your experience in the military mold you as a person?
  17. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
  18. What is your earliest memory?
  19. Did you receive an allowance as a child? How much? Did you save your money or spend it?
  20. Who were your friends when you were growing up?
  21. What was your favorite thing to do for fun (movies, beach, etc.)?
  22. What was school like for you as a child? What were your best and worst subjects?
  23. What school activities and sports did you participate in?
  24. Do you remember any fads from your youth? Popular hairstyles? Clothing?
  25. What world events had the most impact on you?
  26. How would you like to be remembered?
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