Site Visit and Professional Interview Guidelines

Visit an organization, institution or agency that provides services for the elderly such as a nursing home, senior center, retirement community, assisted living facility, or home-health agency. Observe the organization and its operations. Identify and interview a professional in the organization. This person could be an administrator, manager or direct care provider. In your interview, have the interviewee tell you as much as they can about the organization (what does it do, who it serves, who owns/operates it, how it is funded, its history, etc.), about themselves (what do they do, how long have they worked in their current position, what they did before assuming their present position, what kind of education/training they have, have they had specialized training in gerontology/aging, do they consider themselves a gerontologist or aging specialist, do they enjoy working with the elderly, etc.), and about their views on aging (how do they feel about aging, old age, and the elderly; how does society view aging, old age, and the elderly; what are the needs of elderly; what should be done, if anything, to improve their lives; etc.) .

You should either electronically record or take notes during the interview. I recommend doing both. This allows you to listen to the recording later to expand your notes. Write up the site visit/interview by briefly describing the organization/agency and the individual you interviewed in the organization. Conclude with a discussion of your impressions of the organization and the individual you interviewed. The write up should be 2-3 pages long and should be typed, double-spaced, with pica or elite type and one in margins.