An Elder Interview About The Aging Process And Health Care

2328 words - 9 pages

After spending an afternoon interviewing my elderly father-in-law, I gained insight into how he perceives the aging process and the impact on the quality of his life. First, and foremost he viewed aging in a very positive and healthy manner. He believes that a positive attitude assists in accepting physical and psychosocial changes and enjoyed the fact that he and his wife are both physically fit and cognitively alert. He felt confident that advances made in health care and the quality of their lives would continue to be empowering. He enjoys the benefits of being a senior citizen including discounted travel, free education, and other incentives marketed towards seniors. He expressed a sense of well-being with respect to the numerous housing options geared towards the graying population, such as Retirement Villages, and assisted living. However, the subjects of Long Term Care, Social security reform and government involvement in health care reform were subjects he regarded with very strong negative emotions. During the interview these issues as related to his experiences with health care were discussed with zeal and frustration.

Ron is my father-in-law; he is seventy-seven years young and lives in Smallville with his wife. They live independently in a sprawling 4,500 foot custom built cape style home. Ron was the oldest of three siblings and was raised in a farming town by his father who was a disabled war veteran in poor health and a feisty Italian mother. Ron had the opportunity to complete high school and receive the gift of learning to work with his hands as a master finish carpenter. He worked on many farms as a young boy during the summers of high school to help support his family; he is no stranger to working very hard. When he graduated from high school he was swept under the wing of a master carpenter in his home- town and learned the master art of building homes and finish carpentry. He married his lovely bride of 52 years when he was 22 years old and shortly there-after had a son and ten years later had another son. His young married years were riddled with worry about finances and making ends meet, specifically related to the affordability of health insurance. He was forced to purchase health insurance because his newborn was repeatedly getting pneumonia, the worries surmounted. With trepidation Ron used all the money he received as a wedding gift, totaling $1500.00 and bought a piece of land. He was able to finance $10,000 to build a home for his young family. His mortgage was $65.00 a month and his BCBS health insurance monthly fee was $700, this was in 1958. When Ron turned 50 years old he decided to upgrade his home to a better neighborhood and built a custom 4,500 square foot home. As soon as Ron's two boys finished high school they worked together as Garfield Construction for many years until Ron retired at 70 years old.
Ron is very happy as an enrolled participant of Medicare and specifically Medicare Part...

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