Interview with an Older Adult

Interview sample

- Please, tell me about your childhood, family and school life.

- Well, there has about half of the century passed since I enjoyed my childhood. Since that time a lot of things have changed. The way the teenagers lived at that time was completely different from the one you live now. Nonetheless, it was interesting and exciting. Now you can only imagine how much funny it was to climb the trees, to sleep in a tent hundred miles away from home, or even to travel aboard the handmade boat. We did not have such modern technologies as computers, mobile phones, MP3 players, but we were always out and about. Besides me, there were three more kids in our family. My parents had to work hard to support us, that is why there always was the lack of time to spend together, but we tried to get closer. Frankly speaking, I was not the best student, and I did not want to study at all. Now I awfully regret for this, but on the other hand, I am happy because my school adapted me to the real life.

- Do you consider yourself old?

- Unfortunately, yes, but I do not mind it. I was a little bit disappointed when I first noticed that I started getting old. Now it is all right, probably because I got used to the feeling of being old.

- At what ages (or stages) did you notice that you were getting older?

- You know, years do not mean anything at all; at least they did not for me. I got old not because I was no longer thirty or forty years old. That happened when I finally realized that I could not do the staff that I had been able to do before. I was fifty years old when I first preferred getting upstairs by the lift instead of doing that on foot. That happened not because I was tired. All of a sudden I felt as if that thing is no longer mine: no more running, no more climbing, no more other physical stuff. Can you imagine how awful it is when you want to do something, but you cannot because you are old and weak.

- What is the most important historical event or period of time that you have lived through?

- When I was nearly thirty, I got into a car accident. Unfortunately, that is not the worst thing. Thanks God, I survived, but after some time of treatment the doctor said that there were no more ways to help me, and I would not ever be able to move without a wheelchair. I thought that my life was over, and I could not find the way to move on until I suddenly stood up and went on my own.

- How did it influence you personally?

- That accident made me appreciate every moment of my life. I realized that a man must be thankful for all things that occur in the course of life, no matter if they are good or bad. Since that time, I try not to take the things I have for granted.

- What have been the best years of your life, so far?

- The best time I have ever experienced so far was when I saw my son for the first time. Since that time, my life has gotten sense. It is unbelievably great thing when you have someone to call you father.

- What are your plans for the future?

- I have never had any plans for the future, and I never tried to adapt the life to my needs. I am convinced that one has to live the way that the life offers to him. The only way to predict the future is to create it. That is why a man had better be busy with the today-life rather than try to do anything virtual in future.

Is there any generation gap between present-day young people and your contemporaries?

- When speaking of differences between the older and the younger generation, I can see only one thing that makes a huge gap between them. Nowadays people are too attached to their everyday life, and they depend too much on the situations or the other people or even on the banks. When I was twenty or thirty, there were no such thing as credit, and that was good. Now people have a big problem with that because they live on the money they have not even earned yet. Please, do not be too judgmental about me. I accept the fact that I can be wrong.

- What advice would you give to young people to help them prepare for their old age?

- The only thing the young people should do to get ready for the old age is to try every chance they get in their life. Because when they are old, I am sure, they would look back in the past and regret all the things they could do but did not. To be prepared for the old age is to be satisfied by the past.

- Have you ever experienced any negative attitudes or discrimination because of your age?

- Fortunately for me, I have never experienced any negative attitude because of my age, but some of my friends used to come across discrimination for being old. I am not angry with those who abuse old people because I am pretty sure they will get their punishment at the old age.

Student’s Reaction to the Interview

- What did you learn about the aging process from the interview?

- I found out that a man is up to create the happy old age on his own by living his life in the right way. Life presents opportunities to everybody, but they are limited. That is why people have to try not to lose any of them.

- Was there anything about the experience that surprised you?

- I was surprised by huge life experience of this person. Now I realize that it is not the result of the long time of studying, it comes with age. Advice of such person is very important.

- How did you feel during the interview?

- Frankly speaking, I felt a little bit scared during the interview because that thing of old age is far more serious and important than I considered. As a result, I am confused now and feel as if not ready for getting old.

- What changes, if any, have occurred in your perception of older adults and the aging process?

- First of all, I realized that the way I live now needs changing. I cannot waste the opportunities of young age anymore. This interview has changed my thoughts and dreams about life. It is like the sign to start living with a thought of the future.

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