Interview With Hayward

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I chose to interview Hayward Thues for this paper. Hayward is an African American male and he is my paternal grandfather. Hayward was born in Ringgold, Louisiana in 1930 and is currently 86 years old. He relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, along with his mother and siblings when he was an adolescent. Hayward’s father died when he was very young, so he does not have any memories of him. Hayward currently lives with his wife, my paternal grandmother, and they have been married for 65 years. One of my oldest uncles also lives with my grandparents, as well as a few cousins. My grandparents typically have one or more family members residing with them at any given time; they have never lived in their home alone. My grandfather utilizes
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African Americans suffered inhumane treatment and were prevented, by law, from participating in many of the commonalities awarded to the majority. This had negative, but also positive impacts on the trajectory of Hayward’s life, as well as countless others. Religion was an important part of Hayward’s upbringing, he attended an all-Black church where his grandfather frequently prayed during services. Religion and faith were a catalyst for resiliency and strength to Hayward and his family. Church services were a time for families to come together and celebrate; a time to fellowship with one another and receive energy for the coming week. Education was another system, although only for a short period, in Hayward’s life. Schools were segregated and the facilities for African Americans were not the best. Hayward made the decision, upon relocating to Phoenix with his family, to discontinue his education and begin working; therefore his educational attainment was not very high. Family is very important to Hayward; he was a provider for his family, as well as a caregiver for his own mother in her late adulthood. The experiences of Hayward allowed him to develop resilience and also resulted in stronger bonds amongst his family and others within his…show more content…
Despite the laws and systems in place that perpetuated racism and discrimination, he led a very successful life. He dropped out of school in 8th grade, grew up without his father and lived in poverty, but was able to have a successful career, purchase a home for his family and lead his household. In this past I had thoughts of not wanting to grow old, but after reading about late adulthood and conducting the interview with my grandfather, I realize that it is not the depressive and uneventful period I originally imagined it to be. I also realize that late adulthood is the not the ending of life, but the continuation of new experiences. My grandfather takes great pride in his life experiences and instead of focusing on shortcomings and negatives, he chooses to highlight his success and happiness. He has lived a very long and full life and his stories encompass much of the developmental information discussed in the late adulthood period. This assessment has also awakened in me, an interest in exploring geriatric social work. There is much to learn from our elders, and additional knowledge of this group will allow me to learn how to best serve and support clients in this age
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