Paper Example on Life and Aging

Published: 2021-06-22 12:44:14
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Middlebury College
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Literature review
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Participant George Dunigan is a 73-year-old African-American male, from Jesup, Georgia. Mr. Dunigan lives in his own very spacious, clean and welcoming home with daughter Phyllis McCrae in a quiet neighborhood located in Jesup, Georgia. While, the population of elders continues to grow, we are likely to see increased demands for diverse and alternative options in caregiving for older individuals. I chose my step-father George Dunigan, Sr. to be the subject of this interview. Mr. Dunigan, wife is deceased, married for 30 years to Mrs. Geraldine Dunigan they have seven children. He is primarily independent, mobile and active, except his physical functioning is slightly limited by arthritic joints, and swelling in legs.

Childhood

Mr. Dunigan, was born on October 17, 1942, to Willie Buster Dunigan and Louise Dunigan in Chilton County, Alabama. His father was a sharecropper and also a farmer. While mother worked as a domestic house keeper. He was born and raised on a farm in Chilton County. At an early age, he went to school, and began working the farm and pick cotton to help the family keep food on the table and to buy books for school. His wages were $4.00 weekly from farming and 3.50 weekly for picking cotton. He describes growing up in a home that emphasized religion, respect, ethics, and the importance of family. Attending Morning Glory Church service was important part of their lives. His father was a deacon of the church and mother was in the choir.

Mr. George Dunigan, is the oldest of seven siblings. He has five sisters and one younger brother, and all still lives in Chilton County, Alabama. He went to school but only completed the 11th grade, having to quit school and take on the responsible of family after father was killed. The highest point of his life was at the age of 19 years-old leaving home to take a job with the CSX railroad. Where he retired at 30 years, and married Geraldine Morgan of 25years, before her death in 1993. He was the blessed with 6 children and 10 grandchildren.

Mr. George Dunigan finds that the most difficult part of growing older is not having the love of your life and friend with you. He went through a time of depression and isolation after the loss of his wife, but the support from family, friends and the church community and his daughter coming to live with him made a difference which gave a better view of life.

The historical event that most impacted Mr. George Dunigan is the 1960s civil rights moment of Martin Luther King. His family was forced to stand and watch his father be hanged from an oak tree in front of their home at the age of 55 years old. In Chilton, Alabama, Mr. George Dunigan stated he would not do anything differently, and he will continue teaching children to respect others, work hard, save and make sure they marry for love and not materials. They should also be great husbands and fathers.

Successful aging is referred to as mental, physical, and social well-being in an older age (Quadagno, 2013). While the society still considers older people a burden to the society, there are several ways in which Mr. George Dunigan can age successfully without being seen as a burden. The first way to age successfully is to leave a legacy that will remain in most peoples mind for the rest of their lives. Legacy does not mean building a school or sponsoring several children in one of the most expensive schools, it is doing the certain things that will remain in most peoples heart (Quadagno, 2013). A person is remembered not because the amount of money he/she had but because of the hearts he/she has touched. It is, therefore, important for Mr. George Dunigan to have certain campaigns towards assisting the poor, or any other thing that will remain an important aspect in other peoples lives. This will make him age him efficaciously, and the society will praise him as he ages. This can be evidenced from great people like nelson Mandela who age and even died successfully because of the things he did to his people.

Another important factor for Mr. George Dunigan to age successfully is to ensure proper social interaction. According to Quadagno (2013), a person's aptitude to interrelate with others is consistently seen as indispensably important to a successful aging. While the social network scope for older individuals drops with age, the inclusive value of the continuing social contacts becomes very important. When an individual lacks such contact, he/she will feel "loneliness", which is viewed as one of the chief factors averting people from attaining successful aging. According to Cox (2015), social interaction comes with a particular well-being where a person feels that despite his her age he/she still belongs to the age group of the people around him or her.

There are certain things that I want to achieve before I grow old or die. One of my bucket list is to own five rental properties. This idea will prepare for me a successful aging process since I will not struggle to meet my financial requirements. Another idea is set a nonprofit related business to kids. This is one of the legacies that I have admired for a long time. Seeing children and the society as a whole improving because of my effort has been one my desire. As such, I have to achieve it. According to Cox (2015), important things that children learn during his young age are game changers as far as entrepreneurship is concerned. Lastly, I want to write a novel about myself, things I have gone through, and challenges I have met in life. This will form a platform from which young kids will learn certain things about nature and life.

 

References

Cox, H. G. (2015). Later life: The realities of aging. Routledge.

Quadagno, J. (2013). Aging and the life course: An introduction to social gerontology. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

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