The Portal of Geriatrics Online Education

Healthy Ager Life History Project


Healthy Ager Life History Project

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine
Lynn Bickley, MPH, Betsy Goebel Jones, MPH
AAMC/John A. Hartford Foundation
John A. Hartford Foundation
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Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 
Ok Peer reviewed Peer reviewed

Groups of two students are each paired with a Healthy Ager in the community. Preparation includes a model interview and small group role-play. Students groups interview the healthy ager, and each student writes a 3-5 page paper about the ager and the experience. Small group debriefing experience is followed by an evaluation.

Educational objectives: 

To immerse students in a community/home-based experience with "healthy agers", defined as over 65 and able to share with others. To expose students to the life experiences, wisdom, and coping skills of older individuals. Upon completion of this exercise the learner should be able to: 1. Conduct a life history interview of a healthy senior in our community. 2. Understand how aging fits into the life cycle and appreciate the special strengths, mastery of life's challenges, and special perspectives of aging in our community. 3. Complete a written summary of a life history and what they have learned from the interview experience.

Additional information/Special implementation requirements or guidelines: 

Suggest careful community contacts to identify healthy agers; letters of introduction to introduce healthy agers to students; use of scoring tool for qualitative analysis of student reports.

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Suggested Citation:
Lynn Bickley and Dr. Betsy Goebel Jones. Healthy Ager Life History Project. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2007 Available from: