Examining the Western Culture's View of the Elderly Essay

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I spent roughly thirty hours volunteering at Martin Luther Campus, during which I got to take a part in many experiences that were alien to me. Through participant observations, I was able to interview residents and draw out information that I would otherwise be unable to get if I used a “fly on the wall” approach. There were many things I witnessed, and experienced first hand, that made me very uncomfortable. Whether they were “bad” or “good is irrelevant, as I found that the things that made me the most uncomfortable tended to be the most relevant to this class. By keeping track of my experiences in my journals, I was able to to revisit my experiences once I obtained a more objective view. This helped me interpret my experiences as an …show more content…
The expression of her loneliness was unlike any type I had experienced before. Many times, I had friends tell me how lonely they were. Not to discount their feelings, but many of them still had family they could talk to and friends to spend time with. Agnes' family never came to visit her, nor any friends to keep her company. She invited me to come an join her anytime to sit with her in her room and just watch TV. I asked her if she would like me to stay, and she said yes. I sat down, and she said that I could choose any channel I wished. Naturally, I put on the TV show “Friends”, and she fell asleep in her wheelchair. It struck me, that she just wanted someone by her side. It wasn't much to ask, but apparently not many people bothered to ask, or were willing. Another man named Oren (one of the funnier residents) expressed extreme discontent that I had to leave his room, as I was delivering his mail. He was alone in his room, and he seemed to be craving company. I had never seen any family or friends visit family either, and I began to wonder why. Then, I began to think of all of the residents at Martin Luther Campus who never had visitors. Who left them there? Why doesn't anyone visit them? Why are they so lonely? I also wondered, what does it say about our society and culture that so many facilities such as these exist? Surely, the cases of Oren and Agnes are not unique. While many of the residents do have family come and visit them, there is also a good portion

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