There’s no better way to capture your elderly parent’s family history and personal memories than on video. With today’s digital recording technology, just about anyone can capture their aging mom or dad’s fondest memories and important recollections. However, procrastination is one of the biggest reasons why adult children and family caregivers miss out on immortalizing their parents on video.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with your responsibilities and recording your parent’s family history is one of the last things on your mind. Between your work, kids, hobbies, and caregiving duties for your aging parent, it’s all you can do to get everything done in a day. It can also seem overwhelming to plan out a video session or record your parents. The good news is that there are many different guides online that provide interview questions, storytelling prompts, and more. All you need is a digital recording device and some conversations starters and you can begin to record your elderly parent’s memories.
It may seem as if you simply don’t have hours and hours to devote to this kind of project. However, like most things worth doing, you can make a commitment and tackle it a little at a time. Some adult children have a regular appointment with their aging parent where they spend anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes on a particular topic. Other adult children set out a block of time on a slow weekend day to hit the highlights. There’s no right way to do an oral history, and even a little bit of recorded memories can be very valuable.
If your elderly parent is a little reluctant to talk about their early days and adulthood, you can do your best to persuade them to open up and share. Many elderly people will give in when they realize that there is someone that wants to hear their stories and that grandchildren and great-grandchildren can benefit as well. Assure them that you aren’t looking for a lot of drama or a blockbuster movie plot—you just want to know about the people, places, and events that were important to them.
When you are doing the interviews, start out slowly and get them used to talking about their past. Encourage them to add details such as dates, names, and how they felt at certain events. Keep the topics simple but don’t shy away from the difficult events they may have faced. Above all, make sure you get them to explain their perspective on events that shaped their lives. Future generations will definitely benefit from hearing how their relative handled challenges and dealt with both good times and hard times.
After you’ve recorded your elderly parent sharing their memories, don’t keep such a treasure trove of information to yourself. You can make copies for aunts, uncles, siblings or other family members that might benefit from hearing your elderly mom or dad. If your parent has unique information or perspective about their community, you can also contact an oral historian to see if they are interested in a copy.
As the family caregiver, you have a unique influence on your aging parent and you should try to convince them to share their personal stories with you. You won’t regret clearing up some time in your schedule to film your elderly mom or dad as you interview them. The video will capture their voice, mannerisms and gestures that will be even more special to you after they are gone.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Spokane, WA, please contact the friendly staff at Love at Home Senior Care, today. Call (509) 204-4088
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