When a loved one suffers from Alzheimers and starts losing family memories, it effects the whole family. Often, the changing stages of Alzheimers are marked by a renewed interest and focus on preserving family stories, history and keepsakes by those who realize how much stands to be lost to future generations.
If you, or someone you care about, has a loved one with Alzheimers or other dementia, there is nothing that can be done to restore memory for the one with the disease. That is the sad and degenerative nature of the condition. There are, however, things that you and your family can do now, that may make it easier to cope with this loss and ensure that some family memories will live on forever.
Share Family Stories
- When family members gather, talk about what you remember – about the person with the illness, about your lives together, about the places you’ve lived and the experiences you’ve had.
Record the Stories
Using an audio or video recording device, just let it run while you share. Record snippets of conversation (even the repetition) with the loved one. This is the voice you will want to remember.
Take Lots of Photos
Be sure to label them with dates, names and other important information. These can live for a vey long time.
Run Through Old Family Photos
Pull out those shoeboxes of old family photos and see what memories they conjure up. Lightly pencil on the back of the photos the who, when and where (as much as possible). You may be surprised at what your loved one remembers.
If family is far flung, use facebook or other social sharing tools to set up groups for staying connected. You may need to rely on the younger generations to ensure things run smoothly.
Plan a Family Reunion
Make a point of getting together for the holidays or just a plain old weekend. Make the theme one of storytelling and remembering together. Have everyone bring a favorite family photo or two and other family memorabilia.
Designate a family historian or a family history team. This responsibility can rotate from year to year so that no one gets burned out or overwhelmed.
Living with Alzheimers is not easy, and the loss of memory and recognition may be one of the hardest things for a family to bear emotionally. Taking steps now to gather and documents family history as you know it, will at least ensure that your own stories and memories will be preserved as a legacy for future generations
Give your family the gift of a lifetime by capturing the life story of a parent or grandparent in a Video Memoir .
Here at Family Line Video, we produce Legacy Videos, modern-day memoirs that weave a filmed interview together with family photos, documents, maps and other memorabilia. The result is a beautiful moving portrait capturing your loved one as they recount their life story and memories – a gift your family will treasure for generations to come.
To learn more about Legacy Videos, visit FamilyLineVideo.com.
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