Tips to use to capture these family tales during the coming year with aging parents
1. Use empathetic listening. This means to make all the messages you are are giving the older person— tone, how fast you speak, how they are sitting- all saying, “I want to listen to them.”
2. Ask questions that prompt the story but don’t make judgments. If there are going to record the family tale, do it in a way that doesn’t distract or stop the older person from talking.
3. Start somewhere. If the elder isn’t going to tell stories on his or her own, start the story and see if they will follow along.”What was a New Years Resolution that you made and kept” ” Do you remember your favorite doll ” What was your first day of school like”
4. Music is just next to memory in the brain shown by Alive Inside So use Alexa, Spotify, to play 40’s 50’s music or especially the music of the era when they were teens Simple ways to spark reminiscence when you visit older family members :
5. Look at old photos together from the past or can be anytime. Choose ones from a period of time the person currently remembers, which could be the person as a young adult, teenager, or even a young child.
6.Play music from their teenage years. It is the background to the most emotional period of anyone’s life and deeply lined into memory.
7. Enjoy food they like or food that is a family tradition or specialty, particularly ones that have an element of memory attached from family celebrations. like taco Tuesday, Sunday Suppers, pizza night
Attend a religious service where the elder enjoys the sensory experiences of the smells and the bells -the sight of the pageantry, the whiff of incense or, the sound of a choir, a quiet prayer said together
Three technology tools to help you with this legacy-building for your older client or family member including a new one my husband just received from our daughter Kali for Christmas
8. Story Worth was started by Nick Baum, a tecky who was, and in a way, a long-distance care provider for his parents in Sweden. He was curious about their past and invented the app based on his own need to gather his family history. My husband is a teller of past tales as a highway patrolman, then Hippie, then top marketing director for Pacific Cookie Company, the best cookies here is the west. Our daughter Kali gave Story Worth as a holiday gift, giving him a prompt she sends. This week ” what was your first job. I then have him record it on my I phone, enable dictation and just let him speak his story into the phone. I just emailed the first story to my daughter. I think this is brilliant and recommend it to adult children or people my age who want to pass on those stories they may never write down. At the end of the subscription, the Story Worth people send you a book of all the stories as a keepsake.
9. Life Bio- provides an online template of biography and autobiography questions that have been carefully crafted
10. Quick Voice Recorder to catch the memory on your phone
Reminiscence is part of a whole new domain in aging called quality of life or attending to the older person’s need for joy through activities that stimulate the mind. Reminiscence does that but find out more about how you can increase the quality of life of older people after the holidays and all year long