Your aging parent has so many stories of the experiences she has had over the years. If you’re like many caregivers, one of your favorite things to do may be to sit at a table with your elderly parent, listening to the stories of days gone by. It’s so fun to hear about the activities people did decades ago, the clothes they wore and even the way they conducted themselves. With Feb 8-13 being Freelance Writer Appreciation Week, why not encourage your parent to write down some of these stories so that you, your children and all of the children to come will have them to cherish and share?
At first your parent may think she doesn’t have anything of any importance to share, but with the right prompting, you’ll be amazed at what she can tell you about. Getting her to write it down may be another matter, so here’s a few tips on how to get your parent’s incredible life stories down on paper, making her a freelance writer!
Enlist a note-taker.
For the parent who either doesn’t have the ability to write legibly anymore due to shaking or painful hands, you can enlist someone to take notes while she tells her story verbally. Your elderly care provider may be able to help with this or you could ask a grandchild or other family member to meet with your parent via Zoom and take notes as she talks. She may not be the actual “writer” in the true sense of the word, but her stories will get put down in written format. Another option is to have her record her stories on tape so that someone can later listen to them and write them down.
Purchase a journal.
If your parent likes to write and has plenty of great ideas of what to write about, why not get her a beautiful journal so that she can write them all in one place. A lined journal will give her straight lines to write down all of her memories. A blank journal may be perfect for the more creative parent, who likes to provide illustrations with her stories. Either way, her stories will be written down to be shared for years to come.
Give her prompts.
Sometimes it can be hard to come up of ideas off the top of her head, so give her good prompts that will generate ideas. There are even blank books that provide these prompts at the top of each page, opening up great topics to write about. Even prompts on fairly common topics such as “favorite foods as a child,” or “first day of school,” can lead to long and colorful stories about your parent’s upbringing and peek into that time in history.
Your parent’s stories may never be published for the masses someday but hopefully, you can find a way to print them up and share with all your family members. In that way, your family will be celebrating Freelance Writer Appreciation Week in a way that is perfect for your family.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in Dulles, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 782-3655.
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