Service Learning Essay

Submitted By nikkerz92
Words: 803
Pages: 4

Nicole Smith
Betsy Ingram Diver
Psychology 1120 20 November 2014
My name is Nicole, and I chose to do my service learning at a local nursing home, by volunteering my time with the elderly. Though in this day and age, not everyone in a nursing home qualifies as an elder, I will focus my research and findings around that general population. The facility I chose specifically was Chris Jensen. I also used to work here as an aide and then as a licensed practical nurse, before I moved on to a local hospital. Even with my career change, the elderly have always been an intriguing group of people to me and I enjoyed working with them and learning in depth more about them. So, being able to share some of my experiences during those ten hours is a privilege in this paper.
They are indecisive and recent memories never seem to stick to long to their brains when it comes to the senior population. In our assigned reading Psychology in Everyday Life on page ninety-five, it mentions that by the age of eighty the brain has lost five percent of its former weight. Also, the brain regions shrink, especially the parts that memory relies on. This explains many of the situations I saw while at the nursing home and that I’ve seen over the course of my years working in the health field. At one time during my visit, an elderly lady believed another resident was her mother. She was able to convince the other woman by her enthusiasm and excitability that soon they were like old lost best mother and daughter. Though it was short term, and once separated for longer than a few minutes the memory is often lost. During that one moment it was priceless. Unfortunately, this did occur once they were distracted with an activity, they soon lost that connectivity they thought they had, and went on with the day like that never occurred. Luckily, as a bystander just seeing that joy on their faces for those few moments gave me chills down the spine; it was so real to them. Memories are a huge part of everyday life. We thrive on our experiences and long for them to be complete and also to be comforted like that feeling in the memory again. For many older adults they don’t have the visitors they used to, or the relationships they once shared, so those fake bonds are strikingly magical.
Another important factor with the elderly, is keeping them active in ways that not only relate to their personal beliefs, but in ways that keep them coherent longer. There are many different activities a person can do, but for the elderly in the nursing home it can be more difficult to achieve all the things they used to be able to do because of their declines. In our reading on page ninety-five, it mentions the importance of physical exercise throughout our entire life-spans and the improvement it can provide for us in the future. It also goes into detail about how increased exercise in sedentary