Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services cherish hearing stories about our seniors' legacies. As we gather with family for the holidays here in Chicagoland, what better time to reflect on the meaningful life narratives of the seniors around us. This year, consider conducting a casual, recorded interview. It's a gesture that will surely spark nostalgia for those involved and allow you to share their memories for decades to come. Whether you use video to capture their retelling or a digital audio recorder, hearing about your loved one's journey will be the perfect gift for everyone.
Here are five interview questions from your Seniors Helping Seniors® friends to get the conversation started!
What was your favorite thing to do for fun growing up?
Start at the beginning. Childhood memories can reveal a great deal about our life's story. Moreover, this question will likely invoke precious memories of our loved one's early years and just maybe a few entertaining tales you haven't yet heard.
What was the happiest day of your life?
Choosing just one day in our lives to declare as our "happiest moment" can be difficult. Your senior loved one may have many "happiest moments." Marrying the love of their life, the birth of their first child, or finally moving into a home their family dreamed of for years, for example. No matter the answer, the reward you'll receive from listening to your loved one recount their most precious memories is priceless.
Who is the person who most influenced your life?
From our favorite aunt to the teacher who pushed us to be our best, we tend to have one or two individuals who left a significant imprint on our life stories. Maybe this person changed the way we looked at the world, encouraged us to follow our passion, or just seemed always to know how to make us laugh. Who could this person be for your senior loved one?
What are you most proud of?
The answer to this question might surprise you. Discovering the instances that filled your loved one with pride throughout their life can reveal a lot about the people and places they hold dear, what they consider their greatest accomplishments, and how they sought to live their life day-in and day-out.
If you could offer one piece of advice to today's youth, what would it be?
There is so much we can learn from the seniors in our lives. Just think, what a precious gift to have someone who has already been through the life experiences we have yet to encounter. From marriage and friendship advice to cooking tips and cold remedies, our senior loved ones often have more knowledge to impart than we realize. If you sit back and listen, who knows what golden nuggets you'll receive!
There are no right or wrong questions to ask your senior loved one in this exercise. Focus on inquiries that will reveal memories they'll enjoy reliving and those that will help you gain insight into parts of their life story you may not know about. You'll treasure the experience of getting to know your loved one better, and they're sure to enjoy sharing these precious Heartland memories with the people they love most.