Instructions for using the Graceful Aging Scale: You first identify

 

Instructions for using the Graceful Aging Scale:

You first identify two elder people by observation. You pick one person who you think would be in the upper part of the scale and one in the lower part. After you pick the two people, use the scale to assess the two people. You read the statement to your subject, and ask him/her to rank him/herself. For example, “1. Maintains social utility, open to new ideas, cares about others (within the limits of physical health 0-3”. If your subject feels the statement describes her perfectly, assign a 3 to her. If your subject feels the statement does not describe her at all, assign a 0 to her. If your subject feels somewhat in between, assign 1 or 2 to her. Then add the numbers together for all six statements.

The summary at the end of the scale is for you to interpret the results. For example, if a person gets 14 points. This results means, “13-15 = Unusually vigorous aging. Meets almost all of the criteria for successful aging and beloved by physician and grandchildren.” If a person gets 3 points, this result means “0-3 = Moderate depression, complaining, dependency, rigidity, withdrawal, timidity, self-centered, unable to accept old age. The kind of elderly person doctors don’t like and that young relatives withdraw from.”

The Graceful Aging Scale:
1. Maintains social utility, open to new ideas, cares about others (within the limits of physical health) 0-3

  1. Eriksonian Integrity, accepts the past and can take sustenance from past accomplishments. 0-2
  2. Maintains other Eriksonian skills: Basic Trust (hope in life), sensible Autonomy, and Initiative. (In old age Industry, Generativity, and Intimacy are not always possible) 0-3
  3. Enjoys life, retains sense of humor, capacity for joy and play. (Since “old age is not for sissies,” happiness may be possible) 0-3
  4. Cheerful acceptance of “indignities of old age,” graceful about dependency issues, takes care of self, and when ill becomes a patient that a doctor would want to care for. 0-2
  5. Cultivates relationships with surviving old friends and is successful in making new ones. 0-2

Summary Scale:

13-15 = Unusually vigorous aging. Meets almost all of the criteria for successful aging and beloved by physician and grandchildren.

10-12 = An old age adjustment that the rater would be content to have at 75.

7-9 = Real strengths, but some serious limitations.

4-6 = So-so adjustment — fits the young person’s stereotype of old age. More rigid and discontented than otherwise. Fails many of the above criteria.

0-3 = Moderate depression, complaining, dependency, rigidity, withdrawal, timidity, self-centered, unable to accept old age. The kind of elderly person doctors don’t like and that young relatives withdraw from.

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