Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog #12

One of the last topics that we discussed in class was the role of grandparent-grandchild relationship. I found it interesting when we broke into groups and discussed our relationship with our grandparents and their roles in family. Also, we were given the chance to listen to what other people had to say (found this part to be very interesting) and we were given the opportunity to share with the class. For me personally, I have two very different relationships with my grandparents. One set of my grandparents are deceased and my other two grandparents are divorced. I live close to my grandmother (when at home) and my relationship with her is very strong as I see and talk to her all the time. However, my grandfather lives in South Carolina and I only see him on the major holidays so my relationship is non existent when those times are not around. These discussions, along with my own thoughts, got me to thinking what the lives are like for these grandparents when they actually parent their grandchildren. I found a article titled "Grandparents Who Parent Their Grandchildren: Effects on Lifestyle". The study of the article looked at a sample of 114 grandparents who provide daily care to their grandchildren. The study found that 40% of the grandparents that their contact with their friends changed as a result of their taking care of their grandchildren. The study also found that half of the subjects said that they has "some" or "a lot of" problems with family because they were providing care to their grandchildren. The study also found that most married grandparents reported no change in having time for their spouse or in marital satisfaction with their spouse.

This last finding surprised me because I have learned in past FSW courses that marital satisfaction decreases once children enter the equation. So I was surprised to see that once Grandparents had to take care of their children that their marital satisfaction remained strong and unchanging. The other results I was not surprised at.

Questions to consider for the class?

Do any of these findings surprise you or do you feel that they are all right were they should be?

Do you feel that once people hit a certain age, they are better prepared to deal with children?

Do you think that older adults are good parents or do you feel that they do not do a good job due to their age?

Blog #11

In class, we discussed the role that some grandparents have raising grandchildren. The first thing that went through my mind is that raising children is hard and takes a lot of time and energy. I am a student with a health background so these discussions got me curious to if this action is beneficial to the health of the grandparent. I decided to do some research on the topic and came across an article titled "The Health of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Results of a National Study". In the review of literature the author of the article state that previous research has suggested that caregiving grandparents are vulnerable to a host of problems including depression, social isolation and poverty. The main study of the article has several findings. It found that custodial grandparents were significantly more likely than non caregiving grandparents to report limitations in each of these six areas: mobility inside the house, completing daily household tasks, climbing stairs, walking 6 blocks, doing heavy tasks, and working for pay. In fact, the study found that three out of ten caregivers had trouble doing their day-t0-day household tasks.

Questions to consider for the class

Do you find these findings to be surprising or are they results that you would expect?

Do you think that with people living longer, this will continue to be a problem as we head into the future?

Do you think that modern advancements such as medicine or technology can aid in this child rearing?

As family study students, what can be done to help future grandparents out in this burden?

Blog #10

During the semester we discussed, in detail, the role of being sexual being for aging adults. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of older adults maintaining their sexual identity. As a class, we discussed our thoughts and feelings on the subject and some of the feelings that the class showed was very interesting to me. This discussion and lecture gave me the motivation to research the topic further. During this research I came across and article called, "How important is sex in later life? The views of older people". This article is a recent study (2002) and it interested me because it took a qualitative approach to sex in regards to later life relationships. The article found that participants who did not consider sex to be of any importance to them neither had a current sexual partner, nor felt that they would have another sexual partner in their lifetime. Those who did have a sexual partner placed an importance on having sex in their life. Also, when sex seemed to slow down or some age was the reason that was given in order to cope with the situation. The study also found that sex was easier in later life relationships when the relationship was not short. I believe that these findings show that we, as a culture need to place a greater importance on sex for the aging population. I think this because I believe that sex for older adults is a healthy behavior to participate in.

Questions to consider for the class

Do any of these findings surprise you in anyway? Why or why not?

What implications do these findings tell you about where to further develop the field of later life relationships?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blog #9

Last week we discussed the topic of the parent-child relationship. After leaving class I began to think of ways in which to strengthen these relationships as it is not always the easiest to get along with you parents (at least I struggle with it from time to time). I looked for way to do this and I found a website that gave very simples steps in which families can strengthen themselves.
1. Say I love You
2. Teach your faith
3. Establish a special name or code word
4. Develop and maintain a special bedtime ritual
5. Let your children help you
6. Play with your children
7. Eat meals as a family
8. Seek out one-on-one opportunities often
9. Respect their choices
10. Make them a priority in your life

I know not all of these a relevant any more in everyone's life considering the age of the people in the class but some of these things I believe can still be useful. I was wondering if anyone has used any of these tips when they are with there parents or children? Also, if none of these tips are used today, if any of these tips were used at another point in your life and if anyone has been helped out by these?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blog #8

Over the last few weeks I have noticed that a few topics keep coming up in discussion. One of those topics is caring for older adults. We have discussed the relationship between caregivers and older adults, the stress and obstacles that goes into caring for older adults, we have discussed whether or not younger people have the responsibility to care for those who can't care for themselves and that no one person should have to have the sole responsibility of caring for a person as it is simply to difficult to do. I have found an article that discusses this topic of caring for older adults further. The article is called "Caregivers strong commitment to their Relationship with Older People" from the International Journal of Nursing Practice. The articles discusses that in Sweden, there is growing need to take care of the elderly because more people are choosing to remain in their homes for longer periods of time. This article closely examined the relationship between those giving the car and those receiving care. The article found that whether the experiences the caregiver has is positive or negative a theme of a "strong commitment to the relationship" emerged. An interest point that the article made is that that the caregivers' commitment develops due to a fear of doing something wrong even when they are acting in the patient's best interest.

I was wondering what people thought of this last point that commitment can be and sometimes is developed out of fear of doing something wrong. Also, any other thought about developing a commitment to caregivers is also appropriate.

Here is a link to the article if anyone is interested:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blog #7

Today in class we discussed children leaving the house and then coming back to live with their family and we had some really good discussion. We got the views that it is not good for the parents or the children as the parents will be unable to get rid of the children and the children will regress to the maturity level of a teenager and may tend to "leech" (for sake of better word) on to the finances and resources of their parents. Other people were more on the idea that there parents are willing and wanting their children to move back in with them. As I review the discussion again think about my own situation. I am in a situation where finding a job next year is not a guarantee and may not happen right away and I may be in the position where I am forced to move back in which my parents. The good thing is that my parents have always repeated the fact that I will always have a place to live no matter what my situation is. I can not explain how much simply knowing this gets rid of many of my worries and greatly lessens my stress levels and anxiety about my future. The other advantage to the situation I find myself in with having an invitation to move back in if I need it is I do not have to rush into a bad situation in hastily choosing a job and maybe cornering myself into a job that I don't want. This is similar to an episode of the office I watched the other week when Darryl and Andy was interviewing people to take over for the warehouse crew as they all quite because they all won the lottery. Darryl asked them why they wanted to work there and one of them responded....."because I need a job"......Darryl then responded you shouldn't take the first job that comes your way, but you want the right job. This is a very similar situation I may find myself in and going home to live with my parents will simply "buy time" until I am unable to find the right situation for me. I don't even know if parents realize that they are doing this....a move that may help both parties out in the long run.
Also when I go back and think of the conversation we had in class I immediately think of the TV series Everyone Loves Raymond. In the show Robert is forced to go back and live with his parents for many years due to numerous reasons. And while he is there the parents continue to remind him that he is there and alot of the time in a way that is poking fun of the fact that he has to live with his parents. However, no matter how much they say they want him to leave they never actually force him to leave and allow him to stay as long as he wants. As I think of the show I think of the many people who I graduated with a few years ago and many of them are still living with there parents due to lack of other options instead of wanting to be there. This raises a few questions that I had for the class:
1. Do you know anyone that is being forced to move back to live with their parents?
2. Do you feel that you will one day be living back with your parents? If so, do you believe that it will be by choice or due to necessity?
3. Do you fear that if you go back and live with your parents, it will put the rest of your life on hold or do you feel that this will benefit you more than it will hurt you?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Blog #6

As we continue our discussion of widowhood (or just coping with the loss of a loved one, may it be a spouse, a father, a mother or a sibling) I continue to think of the effects that go into dealing with something like that. I know there are different stages to grieving such as anger, bargaining and eventually coming to terms with the situation. I was curious on what other responses that happen when this type of event happens and I found an article that answered the question. The article was from the academic journal Psychology and Aging and was written by Margaret Gentry and Arthur Shurman. The article answered my question of what people do to deal with the death of a spouse as the article was titled Remarriage As A Coping Response To Widowhood. This article looked at only what certain women do as a result of their husband dying when they were still healthy enough to remarry. The article found that women who had remarried reported fewer current concerns than the people who did remarry or even considered remarrying. Also the authors found that the ones that had the most difficulty and hardest time dealing with the situation immediately after the death were the ones that were most likely ones to remarry as a coping. I found that this article was very interesting that people actually get remarried as a way to deal with the loss of a spouse. After learning about and reading about the widowhood effect I can understand why someone would want to remarry quickly in order to have that companionship again. It makes perfect sense to me although I am not sure I would be able to remarry if I had a long term marriage and my companion suddenly passed away. I was wondering if the class had an opinion on the topic.