As a family caregiver, you have a unique opportunity to spend a lot of time with your aging mom or dad. While caregiving may be a little stressful, it’s also a wonderful way to really get to know your elderly parent and learn more about their past. You can make their recollections and memories more permanent by preserving their family history and passing it on to future generations.
Family history is important in helping us understand who we are and what role others have played in our lives. Many adult children regret not capturing their elderly mom or dad’s family history before it was too late. There are many ways to collect the stories of your elders and there is no better time to start than right now.
It doesn’t take much to get started with preserving family memories with aging relatives. All you need to do is decide how you want to document their thoughts and come up with some interview questions that will prompt the elderly relative to start sharing their memories. No matter what you do, make sure you are documenting their interactions so that you and your family members can have them for years to come.
One of the most popular ways to preserve family memories with an elderly adult is to video them. With a digital recording device, you can not only capture their voice but their face and mannerisms as well. Many adult children love to look at videos of their aging parent to remember them clearly. Another option is audio recordings, either using a digital recorder or even a smart phone.
Other ways to preserve family memories with aging relatives include organizing photo albums with detailed labels, gathering classic recipes, and asking them to write up their memoirs. There are commercially available journals that have writing prompts already on the page, such as “How did your family celebrate birthdays” and “Write about your friends in elementary school.” There are numerous ways that you can get your aging mom or dad to open up and share.
Creating a family history can seem overwhelming for caregivers and for their elderly relative. It’s important to keep things simple and take it one segment at a time. You can conduct video or audio interviews over the course of several months, or prompt them to write their memories out over the course of the year. Some people give their aging parent the writing journal for a holiday or birthday gift and ask that the book be given back the following year as a return gift. You want to avoid making your elderly loved one feel on the spot and self-conscious.
There are so many ways to preserve family memories from your aging relative, so don’t delay. Not only will you be enriching your own life, but you’ll be creating a legacy of love and laughter for generations to come.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from caregiver services in Alamo, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.