Losing our Seniors History

We Are Losing Our Seniors & Their History One Brain at a Time

Life is made up of a series of stories and no two lives have the same script. Anyone who has spent time with an elderly family member can see just how much the stories of our lives want to be told. These memories that we pass along are often less about the memories themselves and more about who is listening to them and what impact they have on their lives. Do the seniors in your life have stories that are waiting to be told? What can you do to help preserve their legacies?

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Do the seniors in your life have stories that are waiting to be told? What can you do to help preserve their legacies?

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]Culture is a way of life for a particular group of people – the way they do things. It’s an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior. Seniors play a huge role in passing along cultural values and traditions. The outlook, attitudes, values, morals, goals, and customs shared by society is ordinarily passed down as a spoken legacy from seniors to younger generations.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]The matriarchs and patriarchs of most families are usually the people that know the most about their family history. What happens when memory loss occurs and small fragments of family heritage fade into the distant past?[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]We’re slowly losing our seniors. It’s not a physical loss, we’re losing the memories they once possessed in their minds, their thoughts and their history. While grandma and grandpa are still here, we have to allow our children to ask as many questions as possible. An important approach to take in residential assisted living is to record family history. It could be on audio or video.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]

WAYS TO PRESERVE HISTORY

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  1. Have residents explain where they are from
  2. Have senior couples explain how they met
  3. Identify what languages they speak and the cultural traditions they participated in
  4. List the places they’ve traveled and the shared experiences they had
  5. Defines their personal passions

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]Conversations with people who served in World War II survived The Great Depression and witnessed the civil rights movement define moments in living history. That history is being lost, untold, and ignored. Unfortunately, once these seniors are gone, they are gone. [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]As a result, in order for culture to survive throughout generations, caregivers and family members of residential assisted living homes can help to preserve these memories. The ability to record and preserve history, memory and culture give younger generations a lot to look forward to. The folktales of seniors can change the lives of entire generations if assisted living homes and family members of elderly loved ones learn to value them.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]

HELP SENIORS FILL IN THE BLANKS

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]Residential assisted living homes can apply a straightforward, fill in the blank approach to telling the life stories of seniors. This enables seniors to go through an interview process that is helpful for individuals who are over the age of 75. Family members and caregivers can also complete this fill in the blank life story for yourself.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]

Components To Support the Fill-In-The-Blank Profile

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  • Life interview 
  • Generational Scrapbook 
  • Life Interview Kits 
  • Life Statement 
  • Biographies

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]These components are most helpful for individuals in the early stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s. They are also very useful for workers in memory care centers working with seniors experiencing functional impairments. These fill in the blank sheets that can be completed by family members, staff, or assisted living home volunteers. This fill in the blank life story concept is used by a variety of different assisted living homes.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]

TEN MATERIALS TO SUPPORT INTERVIEWS WITH FACTS

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  1. Birth Certificates
  2. Diplomas 
  3. Degrees
  4. Military Discharge Papers
  5. Awards and Certificates 
  6. Marriage and Divorce Documents 
  7. Newspaper Articles 
  8. Tax Documents for Employment History 
  9. Pictures and Videos 
  10. Religious Artifacts

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]When seniors go through the process of an interview it can mean a great deal. Seniors especially, want to discuss the important or memorable aspects of their lives, dreams, ambitions, and personal challenges.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]Owners and operators of residential assisted living homes must encourage staff to listen to these residents and journal their stories for future purposes. In addition, when young volunteers take time to listen to seniors, it sends a message to seniors that these stories are important.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]

PRO TIPS TO INTERVIEWING SENIORS

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  • Keep the interview simple like a casual conversation
  • Ask question loudly, clearly and slowly for clarity, and repeat when necessary
  • Maintain eye contact and listen carefully without interrupting 
  • Show compassion 
  • Expect moments of silence for reflection, reminiscing and remembering
  • Do not apply pressure 
  • Limit your interview to an hour
  • Show gratitude

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]Upon completion of each interview process, have a family member record the content on an audio or video for safekeeping. Remember, a video adds additional color to the life journey. This is one of the best ways to keep their legacy alive and preserve the rich cultures that seniors in assisted living represent.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]

RALNA IS AN INDUSTRY GAME CHANGER

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]With trending blog topics, legal connections, discounted products, unique services, marketing resources, and so much more, RALNA is an industry game-changer. Visit www.RALNA.org for additional information on providing quality care for seniors across the country.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]Join our rapidly growing initiative and start benefiting today. Blend your voice with ours to redefine the landscaping of the residential assisted living industry. The Residential Assisted Living National Association provides a wide range of information to help owners and operators of RAL homes advance their businesses. It is the nation’s only industry association providing resources, education, and support to RAL homeowners and operators.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][vc_column_text]What happens when memory loss occurs and small fragments of family heritage fade into distant memory?[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_separator css_animation=”fadeIn” type=”normal” color=”#eaeaea”][vc_empty_space][vc_row_inner row_type=”row” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” css_animation=””][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”99″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” qode_css_animation=””][vc_empty_space height=”10px”][vc_column_text]

If you found the information on this article valuable, you’ll find enormous benefits by becoming a member of our community. Visit this page to become a RALNA Member.

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