Theres something special about hearing stories about your elderly relatives when they were younger. While times have changed, many of the challenges and triumphs we face echo across the decades. If you are looking for a chance to capture your elderly relatives personal history, theres no better time than right now. Whether they want to share family stories, pass on interesting information from their history or talk about events that shaped their lives, seniors have stories to tell that can impact generations.

Once youve decided that you are going to document your aging relatives history via video or in writing, its hard to know where to begin. Many seniors may be put off thinking that their life isnt that interesting or that nobody will want to know about their past. The more you can convince your aging relative that their thoughts and memories have real value to the family, the more likely they will be to start sharing. It helps if you have thought about some good interviewing techniques that will help your elderly relative to talk about their personal history.

Here are some tips on getting your elderly relative to open up and share with you.

  • Set up in a comfortable space that is quiet and free of distractions.
  • Avoid starting an interview when someone else is expected, such as a family member or elderly care assistant.
  • Start slowly with questions about their parents or their childhood home. Dont jump into big topics or life-changing events right away.
  • Ask open-ended questions instead of those that require a yes or no answer only.
  • Dont keep digging in hopes to find major revelations about your aging relative. Chances are, their lives are ordinary yet extraordinary to themselves and their family members.
  • Never interrupt the speaker when they are in the middle of a story. Instead, write down any questions that come into your head and bring them up at the next natural break.
  • Do everything you can to document details such as names, dates and more.
  • Focus in on what messages they might have for future generations based on what they have learned in this life.

There are a number of ways to collect your aging relatives best memories, and its never too late to start. They may be especially willing if you have a family gathering or reunion coming up. Once they understand how valuable their recollections are to other family members and how their presence is creating fond memories for future generations, they are likely to jump at the chance to be interviewed.

The sad thing is that there will come a day when your elderly loved one is not able to share their stories. If and when this unfortunate time occurs, youll be glad you did everything you could to document their personal history. When youve done this important and personal elderly care duty, its like a part of them can stay around for many years to come.


If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Minneapolis, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.