Seniors have a wealth of memories and family history that they are always eager to share. October is National Family History month! This is an ideal time for family caregivers to devote some extra time to listening to elderly family members relive treasured moments from their past and to share stories that need to be passed to the next generation.
There are various ways to encourage seniors to share information regarding the family history. As a caregiver, you could draw a picture of a large tree on a piece of poster board. Cut some leaf shapes out of construction paper. Write family member’s names on the leaves. Get the person you are caring for to help you place names in appropriate places to construct a family tree.
You could step aside from your role as caregiver and assume the role of interviewer. Get your family member to tell you stories from their past. Write them down and compile them into a family memory book.
Family recipes are true treasures. If the person you are caring for used to be the one who had the best family dinners or made the best cake or cookies, get them to share their recipes with you. You can compile these and make a family recipe book. You might even want to make several copies and give them as gifts to family and friends.
Serving as caregiver to a family member can sometimes seem overwhelming. National Family History month is the perfect time to set aside some time to simply sit with the person you are caring for and browse through family photos. Quite often, the responsibilities of caregivers tend to consume so much time that simple pleasures often get ignored. Setting aside some time to look at family photos and hear the stories that accompany them can be a pleasant diversion from your usual caregiver duties.
Arrange for as many family members as possible to gather together and share stories about their childhood. Be sure to include the young children in this event. This is a wonderful way for them to learn about how things used to be.
Sometime during the month of October, set aside a day to celebrate the senior members of the family. If possible, take the family to revisit a place that has some significance to your family history.