The Observation Assignments: Interview With Granny
I conducted an interview with my grandmother, aged 67 years, at my house. She will be called “Granny” here for privacy purposes. At the time of the interview, she was in a good physical and mental condition. Granny gave her consent for sharing personal information about her health and development, allowing me to gather enough information.
The late adulthood stage of development is the last stage of physical change of individuals. Granny said that her body does not heal as fast as it did before. She feels tired after a set of minor actions and tasks. According to the textbook, such slow healing and fatigue are a result of cellular aging in which cells can no longer repair themselves (Berger, 2019, 1524). Moreover, Granny complained about her skin which is also a result of cellular aging. She also had concerns about her sleeping pattern that changes frequently. Waking up in the middle of the night and being sleepy all day are common for older people because the day-night circadian rhythm is eliminated over time (Berger, 2019, 1531). So these were biological changes of Granny that I investigate during the interview.
As for the cognitive development, Granny has no memory issues and maintains adequate intellectual power. She said that she plays various games that require logic to exercise her brain. However, the grandmother noticed how slow she understands new things and skills, such as sending an email. This is related to the information processing concept in older people that usually becomes slower over time (Berger, 2019, 1598). Granny also mentioned that she can be easily annoyed by others, suggesting about her less effective control processes. Cognitive control of many older people is less manageable due to their age (Berger, 2019, 1602). Nevertheless, she said that she is happy with her intellectual abilities and still can play logical games and engage in “smart” conversations.
During the interview, Granny answered well for the questions related to life and social relations. She seemed to know everything about herself and her family. Granny also was good at analyzing her past and previous relationships. This demonstrates what is called self-actualization provided by Maslow. According to him, at the late adulthood stage, self-actualized people are more likely to have an “aesthetic, creative, philosophical, and spiritual understanding” (Berger, 2019, 1601). Indeed, Granny has a deep spiritual grounding and philosophical thoughts that are noticeable when speaking with her.
She also said that family gatherings and visits of grandchildren make her extremely happy. Such sensitivity to close people can be explained by the socio-emotional selective theory. This theory, which is one of the self theories, states older people select familiar social contacts (Berger, 2019, 1634). As for Granny, her family is the closest social structure, and she may feel a need for being appreciated by the children and other relatives.
To conclude, conducting the interview with Granny showed the patterns of development of the late adulthood stage. From the biological perspective, her body is slowing down in repairing and functioning. Speaking about her cognitive abilities, learning new skills is not as good as it was before. She also feels more anxiety and triggers by others more often. Additionally, Granny now likes to speak about some philosophical questions, suggesting the accordance of her late adulthood stage.
Berger, K. S. (2019). Invitation to the Life Span (4th ed.). Worth Publishers.