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A growing number of aging people turns out to be a serious problem for many countries. From a biological perspective, people have to deal with different age-related diseases and changes. From an emotional point of view, older adults should learn how to live with a loss of autonomy and dependence on other people. Social or mental health issues of aging also vary, including the presence of additional help, support, and professional evaluation. A biopsychosocial assessment can be used to identify various factors of human development through aging. Still, even the most effective models cannot present enough credible information about what can make aging successful and unsuccessful. In this paper, special attention will be paid to the story of my grandfather and his style of life that turns out to be a strong example for me.
Example of My Grandfather
My father devoted all his life to the two most important things – his family and his teaching career. His education, career choice, marriage, and relationships with his family help me create a clear picture of successful aging. In some cases, I may doubt if it is correct to call him a real symbol of successful aging due to his social isolation. Anyway, my relationships with this man have considerably affected my attitudes and goals.
Symbol of Successful Aging
It is possible to identify a number of ways in which my grandfather can be a good example of successful aging. I cannot stop but admire his behavior and attitude to life. As a physical education teacher, my grandfather knows a lot about health and the role of physical activities at a different age. His medical and physical characteristics seem to be almost perfect for me. He does neither drink, take alcohol, nor use drugs. He visits a doctor every month just to check his blood pressure and take urine tests. I do not even remember if I have ever seen this person being sick or having a headache. Nowadays, at the age of 70, he starts talking about rare cases of fatigue and inability to do as many things as he could several years ago.
Though I have never compared my grandfather to such characters as Superman or Batman, I should admit that all those guidelines and help he managed to offer to my family and myself were highly appreciated. He visited all my concerts at school and supported my brother in his intentions to play guitar even though he had nothing in common with this skill. He continues communicating with my grandmother even though they divorced more than ten years ago when I was too young to understand their true reasons. Still, he never says some bad words about this woman. He is always ready to answer all my questions and clarify some points because he truly believes that there is no more important thing than a family. A family, as well as a school, is a priceless source of knowledge and experience, and people are wrong if they think another way.
Symbol of Unsuccessful Aging
Despite a number of positive sides of my grandfather, I should admit that there are several things that bother me. For example, I have never heard from him about his current friends or meetings he wants to participate in. Being so involved in family affairs and personal well-being, he rejects the importance of social life and outside communication. Though he has several friends from his work, they have not often seen after his retirement. I always think that aging is the time to spend it with friends and special communities. There is no need to get up early, go to work, and take many responsibilities. It is a time to become a part of civilian life, following personal demands and interests.
Successful aging is a combination of physical, psychological, and social factors in life. A person has to promote development from all these perspectives. My grandfather does not complain about poor communication with the outside world. He does not lack social and family support. Still, I have a thought and have already created a picture of a successful aged person. Older people should never be alone even if they think that they are better alone. My grandfather has to look through available social communities in our block and become a member of a society or even create his own group, and I am sure his skills and energy can be enough to complete this task. Regarding his good health and PE knowledge, he can help other people of his age to keep healthy living and deal with the limitations caused by age.
Impact of My Grandfather
Taking into consideration all knowledge, experience, and support I have already received from my grandfather, as well as several drawbacks in his social behavior and peer relationships, I believe that my grandfather is a good example to be followed. He made a decision to be a teacher when she was a student and took all necessary steps to be a perfect example for students and teachers. He created a good family, and even after their divorce, my grandfather did everything possible to prove the worth of family relationships in human life. Finally, this person shows that it is possible to achieve impressive goals in case there is a desire. I cannot neglect his impact on the development of my personal attitudes and behaviors.
In addition to a number of personal lessons, my grandfather continues helping me develop my professional skills. Our communication may not be regular, but every meeting is a chance to learn something new about old people, their hopes, and attitudes. I manage to develop clear expectations regarding working with older adults. It is not enough to underline that an old person is an individual with certain health problems and limitations. An older person is an individual with multiple interests and rich past experience that have to be identified and respected all the time. Sometimes, older people are not ready to ask for help. Therefore, support should be offered carefully, by insensible degrees. For example, it is possible to invite a person to a meeting as a guest or an expert so that they can hardly guess that the main goal is to reduce isolation in their life. By asking for a piece of advice, younger people can recognize what may bother older people. In other words, the task is to help without helping.
In general, my grandfather and his story serve as a strong and educative tool for me and my professional career as a social worker. Sometimes, it is not an easy task to talk to older adults and prove to them that additional help or social support is what they can actually need. Though my grandfather is not a pure symbol of successful aging, he has all chances to become such soon because he has never given up or quitted something. I want to believe that all older people must have at least one person to be admired by. In the case of my grandfather, he should be sure that he has one, and that is certainly me.