As baby boomers age, so do their parents. Most parents of baby boomers have now reached their 70s, 80s and even 90s, and with that advanced age, comes added responsibility for the child. They must not only ensure their parents are cared for now, in the future, or in the event they become incapacitated or disabled. They also must help parents make end-of-life plans, determining where their assets and property will go, who will make health care decisions, and many more important factors. Estate planning is a daunting topic and most average American’s know they should be planning however often take “I am in good shape today” physically, mentality and postpone important discussions with their loved ones. Possibly a way to help you quit the procrastination stage of communication you are in with your family is recognizing the greatest asset you can leave your loved ones is the decades of memories of the life you have lived. The beauty is you have the ability to instantly share “your stories” at any time and the art of communication benefits you and your loved one as you share relevant stories of the past and present often times sparking conversation of your desires ,even wishes you may have for the future.
Is your family documenting history? We all have those wacky family members that stories surround them over the years, possibly there is a story worth noting that will lead to solving a mystery in your life today. We have heard journaling can be a therapeutic practice as well as assist us in bringing true happiness. In addition there is a huge benefit of straining your brain to recall experiences and past events STAYING SHARP begins at birth and continues across a whole lifespan. Senior Living and clinical neuropsychologist and professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine states, “Face-to-face interaction and maintaining as well as building your family network are beneficial for the brain. So shut off the entertainment devices and spend time talking to each other.”
This is a great excuse to reach out to those seldom talked to friends and family to help jog your memory about those long lost relatives and colorful characters of your life. Keep this in mind as you prepare for the next holiday gathering and share precious photos of long ago. Digging photos out of the depths of boxes can serve multiple purposes i.e. table toppers to decorate the dinner table, photos could be a great gift item for those you know who have plenty of sweaters or jumpstart the process to preserving those family memories. Consider attending scrap booking events or seek out experts that can passionately write your biography and help you document your memories: Truly giving the most valuable gift you can to future generations.
If you have yet to embrace the electronic world of today now is the time to ensure your photos are stored electronically and consider making copies to share with loved ones. You might be surprised at how getting re-acquainted and assembling your memories when they are blended with others creates a beautiful tapestry of your life. Also it is important to note that history has been well preserved at local city halls and High Schools consider locating your grandparent’s year book? The High School might have access to it online – who knows what you will find out you might be related to a president if you took advantage of family history resources i.e. ancestory.com.
You may be thinking that your stories have fallen on the deaf ears of the youth I recommend trying again, as your family creates their family there will be a new found appreciation for your story … trust me I speak from first hand experiences knowing you never know what each day will bring and perfectly healthy loved ones may not be here tomorrow to fill in the blanks.
Considering all that you have witnessed throughout the decades, now is not the time to slow down. Rather, embrace it as the time to begin weaving the decades of your life together, and re-invigorating all of your senses to live life with PURPOSE. A special thank you to my loved ones past and present that spark my inspiration.
Tracey Harvey is the Corporate Director of Consumer Relations/Vitality for GenCare Lifestyle, creating WHOLE LIFE LivingTN connections for seniors in Washington & Arizona recently adding Friendship Villas in Tucson. To learn how you can join in on the conversations LIKE us on FACEBOOK and BLOG http://www.gencarelifestyle.com/
RESOURCE: Preserve your family memories with On The Record. Click here for more details http://www.dajournalist.com/for-the-record