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Instructions: Life Review Paper

(250 points Total)

A Life review is a naturally occurring, universal process consisting of reminiscence, thinking about

oneself, and a reconsideration of previous life experiences and their meaning.

You will be doing a Life

Review on an older adult (65 years or older), by interviewing them.

This Life Review assignment can

be done with a family member, a loved one, a friend etc. DO NOT ASK SOMEONE YOU DO NOT


Ultimately, I would love for you to interview someone you have a connection with and someone you

would like to know more about (as long as they are 65+).

If finding an older adult is an issue for you,

please email me by 3/1/2019 ( and I will arrange a meeting with a

resident from facilities I trust.

If you do not let me know by 3/1/19, I will assume you have someone

you can interview and are moving along with the assignment.

The “Life Review Paper” will have two submissions:


Proposal / Script (Due by 11pm, on 3/30/19)


Final Life Review Paper (Due by 11pm, on 5/12/19)

Format and Submission:

Submissions will be made via Dropbox on BeachBoard. The Final Life Review Paper should be

6-9 pages long (do not exceed 8 pages) and are due on the dates stated above. These submissions must be

typed in Times New Roman, size 12 font, double spaced, and in APA (6


ed.) format with a title page,

abstract, citations (in text with a Reference page). I will accept late papers; however, you will be

penalized 5 points for each day it is late (unless you have an excused absence such as: doctors note,

family issue etc.-in which case, keep me in the loop).


Use the assignment guidelines below to compose an A+ paper, if you include the necessary

components of this paper in APA format, you will do just fine


The Point Scale is as follows:

Proposal / Script (2-3 pages):

50 points

Final Life Review Paper (6-8 pages):

200 overall points

distributed as following:


100 points

Application of Theory:

50 points


25 points

Paper organization, grammar, spelling, APA, etc.:

25 points

Background Information for our Life Review Paper – Why this paper is important for our class?

Life review, as described by Robert Butler, is a naturally occurring, universal mental process

prompted by the realization of a foreshortened life expectancy. It potentially proceeds toward a

reorganization of the self, including the achievement of such characteristics as wisdom and serenity in the

aged. The process consists of reminiscence, thinking about oneself, and a reconsideration of previous life

experiences and their meaning. The task of a life review is to evaluate one’s life and accomplishments

and to accept the whole, both the good and the difficulties, as all necessarily a part of one’s own

individual life. This sense of embracing life confirms that one’s story has been “a meaningful adventure

in history.”

The life review process takes place gradually over a period of years for the older person and an

interested other person usually assist the older adult by taking an oral history. The history can be taken

over a period of several sessions and may be tape recorded (when consented to). The results are life long-

lasting memories, which may be given to the older adult or their family members and kept as a keepsake

and shared with younger family members.

Reference: “Life Review.”

Encyclopedia of Aging

. Retrieved March 15, 2018 from


Instructions on how to conceptualize / write your Life Review Paper:

Proposal/ Script (50 points, Due 3/30, by 11pm):

Prior to writing your Final Life Review Paper, you will need to complete and submit (via

Dropbox) the “Proposal / Script”. This submission will be graded, and feedback will be provided shortly

after submission. Only after this submission is graded and you receive feedback, should you start working

on your interview/ paper.


(1 page):

First you are required to submit a proposal of how you will complete this

assignment. Compose 1 page on what you know about this person and what you hope to know or

understand about this person. In addition, the Proposal should answer the following questions:


Who are you interviewing? (relation to you, age, gender and any other

demographic information you would like to include).


Where will this interview take place? (Describe the setting, date and time if you

have that information)


Why did you choose this person?


What have you always wondered about this person?


What is your comfort level with this assignment?


What are your concerns and what are you looking forward to in completing this



Which theory of aging do you foresee your interviewee experiencing and why?

(acquaint yourself with the theories prior to the actual interview so you are

prepared to assimilate the theory with the older adult. The theories are listed


The Script

: After your proposal, you will need to come up with a series of questions (script) that

you will want to ask the older adult you are interviewing. These questions should cover the history of the

person’s life and capture the essence of who they are. These questions should also help you assess the

older adult using a theory model (possible theories below). While developing the questions, please have

in mind the theoretical approach you will use to assess the older adult.

There is not a specific number of questions you should come up with, however, a good set of

questions for a paper of this caliber will round to an average about 15 questions. The questions should be

derived from our course concepts such as chronic disease, biology of aging, love and intimacy, social

interactions, living arrangements, economic security, productive aging, retirement, death and dying, etc.

Please stay respectful of any topic your interviewee does not want to discuss.

In writing this


think of yourself as a qualitative researcher. Meaning, in this process you have the chance to

design your research study, conduct your own case study, and later discuss its results. Your

Proposal / Script is the first step to designing your case research study!

Final Life Review Paper (200 points, Due 5/12, by 11pm):

This is the final submission of this paper and

must include

The Interview (including the setting

portion of your proposal)




, and


The Interview (4-5 pages):

Please include the highlights from the “setting” portion of your

Proposal with this portion of the paper, as you are telling the story of the life of an older adult, you want

to give the reader a good amount of detail of their background. This section is written as question and

answer format. The answer will be given as descriptive paragraph form (example is provided on page

below, along with recommendations for the interview).

Application of Theory (2 pages)

: This portion allows you to coin learned course material to your

interview. In this section, incorporate what you learned in class, into this interview. Please state and

define the theoretical approach(s) you are using to analyze the interviewee. It is a good idea to describe

the older adult’s wellness and capabilities at the time of interview. Show your understanding of course

concepts’ in your application to the interviewee. Three citations necessary (any material presented in this

course can be used), don’t forget: whenever you cite a source you need to give the appropriate APA


Reflection (1 page)


Reflect on what you learned from this assignment. Address elements not

only learned from the older adult, but also the interview processes and application of course concepts.

Moreover, state what you learned from this writing process. Describe what you would have done different

through this process and explain why. Also, briefly describe your own personal reactions associated with

one’s own aging process.

Possible Theories of Aging to use for your paper,

with page numbers from our text where you can find

more information (pick at least 1):


Accumulative Waste Theory (p. 60)


Activity and Continuity Theory (pg. 12-13)


Aging-Clock Theory (p. 61)


Autoimmune Theory (pg. 9 and 61)


Biology of Aging Theory (pg. 9 and 59-64)


Cellular Theory (pg. 62-64)


Disengagement Theory (pg. 10-12)


Error Catastrophe Theory (pg. 9 and 60)


Modernization Theory (pg. 8-10)


Optimization with Compensation Theory (p. 129)


Wear-and-Tear Theory (pg. 21 and 59-60)


World-we-have-lost Syndrome (p. 9)

Recommendations on how to conduct your interview

Begin by briefly expressing your interest in learning about the life of the older adult’s life and set

an appointment for a convenient time and place where the interview will take place. Explain that you will

use this interview as a class assignment and ask for permission from the older adult at this time to share

the interview with your professor/class (you do not need to mention real names in your paper if you do

not want to). Interview your subject in a quiet location. With permission, you can use a recorder device to

register the interview process and your subject’s answers. By recording the interview rather than taking

notes, it will give you the chance to focus on other types of communication, such as body language, facial

expression, etc. which will help with your descriptive skills while writing your paper. Make sure the older

adult is comfortable and is seated in a position to be heard (you could also maintain eye contact if in the

elder’s cultural background eye contact is a form of being polite.) Allow adequate time for the interview

but do not prolong more than two sessions.

After conducting the interview, you will then write up the questions and answers to the interview

in paragraph format. When writing up the interview be as descriptive as possible. You must use critical

thinking skills to make the experience flow and you want to allow the reader to feel as if they experienced

the interview for themselves. Thus meaning do not just simply state

I asked her if she was married and

she replied her husband died 7 years ago

. Instead describe the reactions and report in descriptive detail.

>Example of Descriptive Detail Writing:

As we sat near the window a cool breeze came in the room, she grabbed her blanket around her

shoulder and pulled it tightly to warm herself. I asked Mrs. Hudson if she had ever been married, adding

a smile to soften the question. She replied:“I was married for 42 years to the love of my life, Charles”.

She paused, it seemed for an eternity, and then continued, “… he passed away 7 years ago and I think of

him each day.

Be sure to use descriptive words and transitions to make this portion of the paper flow.

A final note:

This is not only a writing assignment. It is also designed to give you experience with

interviewing, work and learn from an older adult and expand on your writing skills. Give it your best

effort, and you will learn something valuable by listening to a real-life story. The Life Review Interview

should present a full picture of your subject’s life. Details help. To accomplish this, you will need to be an

engaged listener, involving yourself in the person’s story, and not just completing a class assignment.

You may need to interview the person twice, going back for more detailed answers in areas that interest

you. At times, you may need to rephrase some of the questions to make them better understood.

You may need to prompt the older adult, using such phrases as “tell me more,” “I think I understand, you

were…” etc. Do not force the person to go into detail on a particular topic if he/she is really

uncomfortable! Allow the interviewee to talk about what interests him/her but, move him/her along so

you can have a story that covers the whole life. You can get the interview moving along by saying things

like, “I would like to hear more on that later if we have time. Now, I’d like to ask you about…”

I am here to help, so please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.

Final Life Review Paper (6-8 pages):

200 overall points



The Interview (100 points, 4-5 pages):

Highlights from the “setting” portion of your

Proposal, detail of their background, Descriptive paragraph form interview.


Application of Theory (50 points, 2 pages)


Displayed leaned course material, Stated and

defined the theoretical approach(s) you used to analyze the interviewee. At least three

citations in APA format.


Reflection (25 points, 1 page)


Reflected on what you learned from this assignment.

Described what you would have done different through this process with explanation.

Brief description of your own personal reactions associated with one’s own aging



Organization, stayed within page length guidelines (6-8 pages), grammar, spelling,


(title page, abstract, in text citations and reference page):

25 points

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