Interview with an Older Person Essay

Interview with an Older Person

I work for Wendy’s Old fashioned Hamburgers. I decided to conduct my interview with a regular customer that I have often chatted with and became pretty acquainted with over the years. She is 83 years old. Her name is Patricia, although I always referred to her as Mrs. Pat. She confided in me over the course of the interview and gave me a few take away points. She told me not to be too quick to respond to anger (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019).

If I harbor hatred I would become bitter (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019). She offered that just because you get older doesn’t make you any less you, you just have some hindering physical limits (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019). She attributes how long she’s lived to our Frosty’s at Wendy’s Ha Ha (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019). She does think that movement is important no matter how small (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019). She is in the nursing home now, fighting to go home. She thinks that every muscle movement is important because if you stop moving you cease living (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019). She knows I have two cats and she always says her dog always makes her happy. She said pets are important in old age (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019). She says that people and social connections are very important, to feel needed, she said she often feels like a burden and loves when people ask for advice (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019). She swears by living everyday fast and loose (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019). She wears makeup and flirts, she is so fun to be around.

Going forward, I think that I won’t bottle up my emotions so much. I tend to let things build up and I think it would be a beneficial thing in my life if I could tell people when I’m upset. It would serve me better to understand my own emotions by not shoving them down and dealing with them. I don’t want to be a bitter old person. The next topic we discussed had me thinking of my Kidney Disease. She discussed her own physical limitations at 83 and I wonder how my disease can affect me later. Going forward, and as I try to now, I want to try and live healthier, but also I never want to throw a pity party for one because I feel like I will only age faster if I count my issues as opposed to my blessings. I have worked for Wendy’s for seven years, I have had enough Frosty’s to live to be a hundred, so I have that avenue covered. The next topic we discussed I already had a small brush with. In 2015, I was in a pretty bad car wreck. So when she said any movement is better than none, it really hit home. I could take my already known knowledge and merge it with what she was illustrating. I did take into consideration social connections I get how growing old can be lonesome, I will strive to make better connections with people. I will forgive and forget as I grow wiser and mature, I do want to have good connections and I do want to be fulfilled in the arena of feeling needed I don’t want to be a tired, old person. I want to be exhausted from helping others and fulfillment. I plan on being the cat lady as I grow old. I have never met a cat that didn’t make me smile. I want to continue to wear makeup and I want to have fun until I’m pushing up daisies!

If I had conducted this interview with Pat, let’s say one year ago, she had little to no physical limitations! She now is struggling with instrumental ADL problems (Belsky,2016,p.418). Issues like these typically strike a little older than Mrs. Pat’s age, but it can really happen whenever it varies (Belsky,2016,p.419). I will be sad when she has Basic ADL limitations because she is still so lively and independent, it may bring me to tears (Belsky,2016,p.418). I know her physical limits are affecting her but I also know she is very resilient, she talked me through things when my dad passed. I hope I turn out to be half the woman she is. Although I am not a direct family member of Mrs. Pats, I try to stay involved with her as much as possible. I feel like the connections she has made with me and others have also attributed to how long she has made it and her happiness (Belsky,2016,p.422). Mrs. Pat retains water and has been hopitalized for it a few years ago, and oddly enough she said she was never happier. She had the most visits from the family she rarely sees and it made her so happy she recalled (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019). She said she has a lot of friends but because of her age a lot of them have passed and she really encouraged the importance of putting yourself out there and making connections in the world (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019).

We discussed a time when she was serving as a family watchdog (Belsky,2016,p.377). She didn’t go into explicit details but she suggested it was part of the reason for her happiness and it brought the family close (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019). Through conversing with this wonderful woman I learned so much. We discussed generativity a great deal (Belsky,2016,p.363). She divulged that she takes great pride in caring for her grandchildren and it makes her feel useful in her older years (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019).

In regard to Selective Optimization with Compensation, Mrs. Pat if you knew her as I do, she has a passion for life (Belsky,2016,p.396). She uses Mnemonic techniques to remember that I didn’t even realize until after reading chapter 13 (Belsky,2016,p.397). She always says the reason she remembers my name is because she thinks “I’m shiny like a Crystal” I believe she was referring to my personality (Personal communication, April,16th, 2019).

If you are fortunate to have an elder to ask for life advice and to laugh with you are very rich!


Belsky, J. (2016). Experiencing the Lifespan (4th ed.). Worth Publishers: New York.

(P. Rhymer, personal communication, April 16,2019)

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