There is no better time for older adults to share family memories than during the holidays when far-flung members gather to share traditions, food, and laughter. It's an ideal time to remember family history and share old family tales. Why not introduce a new tradition this year by preserving a piece of your history and presenting it to your children and grandchildren as a gift.
A Bit at a Time
You don't have to spend hours researching your family's genealogy or create a Martha Stewart-worthy scrapbook to share your family history. Rather than trying to complete a single major masterpiece that encompasses the entirety of your family's history, create an ongoing project that you can add to as memories surface.
Find Your Muse
As you begin thinking about the past, some memories spring readily to mind. To trigger additional memories, page through family photo albums, read saved letters, and watch family movies and videos. Jot down memories as they surface.
Remember the Present
Don't get so caught up in sharing ancient family history that you forget to share stories about your own life. The events you've lived through and the people you've known are the history of tomorrow. Who better to share those stories than someone who was there?
- Write letters, chronicling an event or sharing a memory in each one. Bring your words to life by including a family photo or two.
- Create scrapbook pages of special family events. Include photos (be sure to identify all the people), mementoes and a summary of highlights.
- Create a photo collage of a year or decade of family life. Accompany it with a list of highlights.
- Make a video or audio recording of yourself recounting family stories.
- Have family videos or slides spliced together and add a voice-over.
Sharing your memories does not need to be an overwhelming task; simply share stories with your loved ones as they come to mind. And if you are interested in finding a continuing care retirement community, but want to remain in your home, download our free guide, Straight from the Source: What Our Members Have to Say, to hear some of our stories.
Photo: David Connell