To examine the concept of life transitions as it relates to older adults: Gerontology Assignment, LU, Canada

University Lakehead University (LU)
Subject Gerontology

Purpose of Life Transitions Assignment:

To examine the concept of life transitions as it relates to older adults.

Course Outcomes:

1. Relate theories of development to older adults.

2. Explain the various life transitions that occur during the older adult years.

Unit Outcomes Specific to this assignment:

Discuss the various socioeconomic life transitions that the older adult will face in relation to:
Awareness of mortality

Declining function

Shrinking social world



Reduced income

Retirement, including the phases of retirement

Role changes

Assignment Guidelines:

  • Interview an older adult  Note his or her approximate age. This person can be a friend, relative, neighbor, parent, or grandparent. Let them know that you were instructed to interview an interesting person for your school assignment.
  • If you do not have access to an older adult, you may research the life of a famous person and respond to the same questions.
  • Write a 4-6 page paper about the person. Do not use their name or location in order to maintain confidentiality.
  • Assure the person being interviewed that he/she may refuse to answer any question.
  • Be empathic and nonjudgmental. Remember that the person is honoring you by sharing his/her life story.

Write-up and Evaluation:

  • This assignment will be evaluated in terms of how you use the course content to interpret or explain what you described in the interview. What theories of the development of the older adult relate to what was described in the interview? What various life transitions occurred during this person’s older adult years?
  • References must be included both in text and on the reference page.
  • Do not include the interview transcript in this assignment.

Suggestions for organizing your data collection:

  • Person’s initials, sex, and age.
  • Where did you come from? What kind of work did you do?
  • What were the life transitions in your life: crucial times when the course of your life changed?
  1. Often these life transitions are associated with a life crisis.
  2. Try to explain what led up to the life transitions. o Looking back now, how do you think these events figured into your life as a whole?
  3. How did the life transitions change the course of your life afterward? How did the life transitions change you?
  • Reflecting back, what kind of life do you think you’ve had?
  • If you were going to live your life over again, what would you change? Leave unchanged?
  • Let’s talk a little about you as you are now. What are the best things about the age you are now? What are the challenges you are currently facing? How have you defied stereotypes of aging?

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