Throughout life, we build memories
A walk down memory lane will often inspire everyone, but especially our senior family members. What value do memories hold for the elderly? While all of us enjoy laughing about previous happenings, our seniors especially affected.
No longer busy with full-time jobs nor providing for families, our elderly parents look for ways to fill the time. Although many find other ways to keep busy, almost all turn to family for comfort and enjoyment. When physical impairments don’t allow the freedom to pursue activities, people seek passive fulfillment.
Walk down memory lane
While calls and visits from friends and family are important, visitors often find themselves searching for subjects to discuss. Seniors eagerly listen to the newest happenings.
However, another way to involve them more actively in the conversation exists. Interjecting memories, mostly happy or comical, brings the senior bright moments. Often memories will energize the senior and bring them actively into the conversation.
What kind of memories? You need not press for monumental happenings. Consider small events. Perhaps it’s a friend from long ago. Maybe a story of an especially amusing event from long ago. Ask your parent about a particular car he used to own or a special pet from years ago. Like most people, our parents enjoy telling about happy moments, loved ones, and special moments in time. Engage them in discussion
Emotions will happen
Many family members express a concern for bringing emotions to the forefront. Even a happy walk down memory lane might evoke some sadness in that they are now past. Memories of loved ones no longer with us might bring us all to tears. However, my experience has convinced me that these memories are at least as important. Our senior parents need to feel and to share those emotions.
The future generations
Grandchildren can be included in these discussions, too. While remembering happy moments you have shared with your parents is enjoyable for all of you, it becomes a gift to your children and grandchildren.
These memories become quite real when discussed with those that lived them. Many times my own children have looked at me quizzically as my Dad and I laugh through the memories of funny and happy times past. They might not understand why a CB radio was necessary to us, but they can laugh along with us at the amusing stories from its use. While they cannot imagine what a party line was, they certainly find the stories we share of them quite amusing.
Sharing our memory lane walk helps more than just the senior parent, it also creates tighter bonds with the entire family. Our parents and grandparents feel much closer to children and grandchildren. Although they may not be able to take part in everything in the current world, our seniors can take a major role in the family through sharing memories.
While strolling through memory lane, remember to build new memories. Your Mom or Dad might not be able to dance the night away anymore, but each day brings the potential for happy thoughts, spontaneous quirks, and witty sayings that become new memories. Build on these. Use them. Cherish them. With these new memories, you are helping your parent find enjoyment and purpose in life!
Often our seniors converse less because they cannot hear well. Consider some type of hearing device, such as the following. This device helps the elderly hear television better, as well as having a special switch to hear conversations in the room. (please note: this is a sponsored link. If you make a purchase using this link, I receive a small commission which helps support this blog. Your price is not affected.) SEE: Hearing Aid Device
What memories do you share with your senior family member? Please share them in the comments below, if you choose!