We all have many stories to tell, especially after spending decades on this earth. Your stories are unique and are important part of not just your own history – but the history of your children and grandchildren. With today being National Tell a Story Day, we wanted to use this day as a reminder to preserve the stories from the seniors in your life.
Creating some sort of tangible collection of their memories will be a deeply treasured item for years to come. From journals to video recordings, here are some ideas as to how you can save and share memories.
Create a Memory Book
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to preserve memories is by writing them down. Whether you transcribe for someone or they write it themselves, it’s a wonderful way to record stories. Type them, handwrite them, whatever feels easiest to you. There are also online services such as Story Worth that will guide you through the process of creating a memory book by sending you writing prompts weekly. A book like this would be a treasured gift that will last forever. Many of these books include sections for family trees, childhood memories, recipes and more.
Compile Photos of Your Past
A picture is worth a thousand words, so gathering and organizing photos are the best ways to preserve history and share memories. It’s time to open up those shoeboxes of photos and start organizing and compiling them into physical albums. Make sure you write dates or things you remember on the back of or next to each photo. You could even use an online service like Shutterfly who will actually scan them in and print them into a beautiful bound book. This is a great opportunity to compile old newspaper articles you’ve saved over the years, ticket stubs or letters and make your photo album into more of a scrapbook.
If a senior is struggling with Alzheimer’s, going through photos is also a way to help recall times and people from the past, which children or grandchildren can then write down for them.
Preserve Memories through Video
Perhaps the easiest way to document stories and memories from seniors in your life is through video. If they are comfortable being on camera, set up a day to visit them and just let the camera run as they recall their best memories or impactful stories from their lives. This is an easy way to get the grandchildren involved in the process as well. Once you’ve completed your videos, you can upload them to sites like YouTube or Vimeo as private videos to share just with close friends and families.
What stories can you document from the seniors in your life today?