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5 Ways to Preserve Family Memories

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5 Ways to Preserve Family Memories

By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com contributing editor

Have you ever had a conversation with your parent that ends up with your response being, “I didn’t know that about you, dad” or “Mom, you never told me that before!”

How much do you know about your parent’s life? Who will preserve the memories and knowledge of family history when your parents are gone? Will family stories be passed down from generation-to-generation? If your family doesn’t have a storyteller, family history could eventually disappear.

The upcoming holiday season is a great time to take steps to preserve your family’s memories. Although the task of preserving family memories sounds complex, it doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective.

Here are some ways to preserve your family’s memories.

Make a family video. A video biography not only captures family stories, but also your elder’s voice, image and personality – something that only film can reproduce. Make a video of your parent responding to questions from you or another family member. Talking is usually easier for older parents than writing memories down, and you’ll be glad later that you saved your parent’s likeness and voice in addition to preserving family stories.

The Power of Telling Family Stories

It could be as simple as a hand-held video device. Sitting around after Thanksgiving Dinner and telling stories. Or, if going all out is your family’s style, have a professional videotaping session, where a videographer comes to where your parent lives, with a professional video, audio and lighting equipment.

“Generations of their families yet unborn will be able to experience their ancestors’ recollections first hand,” Steve Pender, President of Family Legacy Video, Inc. (www.familylegacyvideo.com) says of the power of video technology. “They’ll not only learn valuable family history in a first-hand way, but by seeing and hearing the physical and personality traits they share with their storytellers, they’ll connect with them in a very personal manner. The process of creating a video biography can also bring families closer, help family members reconnect and foster an appreciation for, and pride in, shared family history.”

Related:
Caregiver Walks Across America to Honor Her Mom
Give Your Dad the Best Father’s Day Gift Ever: Your Attention
How Caring for a Spouse Can Strengthen Your Bond

Memory Keepers: Preserve Family Memories originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

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AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

15 comments

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10:43PM PST on Jan 15, 2012

thx

2:07AM PST on Jan 4, 2012

I so thank you!!!. Regards, Sergio.

2:10PM PST on Jan 3, 2012

thank for the tips. I have been needing to do this!

9:04PM PST on Jan 1, 2012

Good suggestions. Also, a notebook to write down what you remember as it comes to mind is good. Things like what was school like for you? How were birthdays celebrated? tales of courtship and weddings;

3:39PM PST on Dec 30, 2011

I also try to visit the family graves, once a year, as a mark of respect but also so their resting places are not forgotten. I hope my daughter will follow on this tradition when I am gone as I think it is important that they are not forgotten and that their grave sites are not left neglected. I clean them up and put flowers. My Grandmother loves that I go and check on her wee baby boy who died at birth. He has no headstone as they had no money, just concrete with the surname written with a stick as it set.

3:30PM PST on Dec 30, 2011

I am lucky that one side of my family has researched our family tree extensively, I have a folder of old letters, photos, birth and death certificates, ship records from when the first of the family came to New Zealand. My favourite is a photo of my 4x Great Grandfather outside his gorgeous home when he was 92 with his 70 year old daughter! I took the original photo, borrowed from a relative and had it professionally re photographed so we have a negative for others to get prints and I have a huge copy of it on my wall. The video idea is a great one, unfortunately my Grandmother has deteriorated of late and no longer recalls the gems and wisdoms that she once shared with us. I remember a lot though and this has given me the incentive to write them all down, for future generations. Little gems like my Great Grandmother used to use her wedding ring as a pendulum to check whether her hens eggs would produce roosters or hens before she put them under a clucky hen :) I also have collected family recipes over the years and plan to have them professionally made into a l recipe book to give to my daughter and nieces for their 21st birthdays :)

9:22PM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Old photos fascinate me.

8:22AM PST on Dec 23, 2011

nice ideas! ty

8:21PM PST on Dec 22, 2011

nice- thank you for sharing

8:19PM PST on Dec 22, 2011

nice- thank you for sharing

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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