Death is not a fun topic to discuss. Especially with older relatives in their 80s and 90s. However, putting life in order as we get older is important. And while the task is challenging for some, the task of putting one’s life in order can be quite a rewarding.
Many seniors want to leave behind something to help their children and their grandchildren, because they take some comfort in knowing that even in death they can still help their family.
Leaving a legacy is, for many seniors, part of putting their affairs in order—they want to provide their knowledge, their skills and their history to their family.
3 ways to help your senior loved one create a legacy
First of all, don’t leave it too late. Regret is a horrible thing. And helping your senior loved one create a legacy is not morbid, it’s preserving a little of who they were, and the life they led, for future generations.
1. Collect letters, photos and recipes
Does one of your grandparents cook a dish that’s amazing? But every time to try replicating it, you can’t get the flavor just right? Or, have you heard about their travels but never seen their old black and white photos of the places they’ve been?
Collecting letters, photos and recipes is a great way of staying connected and learning more about your loved ones. Old photos also are a little bit of history—you can see how things used to be.
Creating customized photo albums, recipe books and books of letters are a great way to perverse history, and give as gifts to other family members.
2. Document and share health history
Okay, so this one’s not as cheerful as old photos and letters, but it’s important. Knowing if your family has a history of any sort of illness or disease is a great way to help you and future generations stay on top of possible problems before they happen.
3. Create a video or audio recording
You know those stories older relatives tell you that are quite interesting, and sometimes really funny, but you can never quite deliver the story as good as they can? Why not record your loved one telling the story—if they are camera shy you can always record audio and leave it for future generations.
An oral family history is a great idea for future generations who want to learn more about their family history—and your loved one will enjoy recounting the story knowing their great-great-great grandchildren could one day be listening to it.
Creating a legacy for your senior loved one
These are just a few ideas you can do to help create a legacy that’ll last for generations for your senior loved one. Don’t wait until it’s too late, sit down with your loved one and chat about helping them create a legacy today.
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