A Special History Lesson: Encouraging Seniors to Share Their Stories
People tend to grow more reflective as they advance in age, and they often spend considerable time reminiscing about the past and their life experiences. Sadly, it’s all too easy to ignore the stories told by the elderly population in our society. But by encouraging seniors to tell those stories, everyone benefits.
If you’re caring for an aging loved one, your life is probably hectic. However, by spending time listening, asking questions and encouraging the telling of a life story, you can enrich your life and provide an important platform. Seniors represent our history, and the lessons they can teach us are profound. That’s why it’s so important to allow them the space and support to express their memories and wisdom. When that happens, everybody wins.
Here’s how you can help your senior tell their story:
#1 – Recording Reminiscences
One of the best ways to encourage seniors to share their stories is to turn the process into a project. Record storytelling sessions on video and make your loved on a participant in the process. Or record the audio of the storytelling session so you can transcribe it later or set it to music. Turning a casual storytelling session into a historical document that can be shared and enjoyed for years to come is a wonderful way to inspire your senior to share their most important memories.
#2 – Provide a Framework
It can be helpful to provide a focused context for seniors to tell their stories. For example, you might ask, “What was it like to vote for the first time?” or “What do you remember about your first car?” Providing points of context like this helps aging individuals recount details and anecdotes that they might not otherwise remember!
#3 – Bring Youth into The Fold
Sometimes the presence of an audience is all it takes for a memory to turn into a great story or history lesson. Instead of having a conversation with your loved one about their past, invite them to tell their stories to an audience of grandchildren, nephews, nieces and other youngsters in the family. Doing this can be incredibly inspiring, plus it ensures that your loved one’s legacy is passed on to new generations.
#4 – Using Modern Technology
Today’s seniors are more accustomed to using technology and the Internet than any previous generation, and using modern technological tools is a wonderful way for seniors to share their histories. Encourage your loved one to keep a video diary, start a blog or simply use their smart phone’s voice recorder to share their thoughts. This is great for those seniors who might not wish to share their stories in person – it gives them the chance to collect their thoughts and document them privately, plus it allows family members and other loved ones a chance to experience those stories later through the magic of our digitized world.
If you’re wondering how you can provide a more encouraging space for your senior to tell their story, Always Best Care can help! We are experts when it comes to in home senior care, and we’re here to make the lives of loved ones like yours as rich, fulfilling and expressive as possible. Call us today at 1-855-470-CARE (2273).