Leaving a Legacy: Capturing Family History for Future Generations

Leaving a Legacy: Capturing Family History for Future Generations

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 

blog-family-decision-guide

 

As we grow older, most adults begin to reflect on what their lives have stood for and what history and legacy they will leave behind. For all of us, there is an innate desire to feel as if we have made a difference in the world. For older adults, feeling confident that younger generations are aware of their heritage is also important.

Taking time to document your family’s shared story can give everyone an opportunity to learn and bond across generations. You can have family members ask the senior questions and capture the interaction on video to preserve for future generations. Or you can work together to create a written version of your family’s history.

Capturing Family History across Generations

We pulled together a list of questions families can ask and answer together. While some family members might know the answers to a few of these questions, other answers might surprise everyone.

It may help to start with the elder’s childhood and work forward to present day.

Questions to Document Childhood Memories

  • What city or town were you born in and what year?
  • How many siblings did you have?
  • What were your parents like?
  • Do you know how your father proposed to your mother?
  • What did your father do for a living?
  • Did your mother work outside the home?
  • Where did you live as a child?
  • What school did you attend? Did you have a favorite teacher?
  • How far did you have to walk to school?
  • Did you have a favorite pet growing up?
  • What was the worst trouble you ever got in to? How were you punished?
  • Did you have responsibilities around the house? Did you receive an allowance for them? How much was it?
  • How did your family celebrate the holidays? Do you remember what your favorite gift from childhood was?
  • Was your mother a good cook? What were your favorite recipes?
  • Did your family take vacations together? Where did you go?

Document the Seniors Coming Of Age

  • Do you remember your first date? Who was it with and where did you go?
  • Did you have a car when you were in school? Do you remember how much gas cost?
  • Did you go to college or a trade school?
  • Did your family have a television? What were your favorite shows?
  • Did you like to dance? What music did you dance to?
  • Where and how did you meet your spouse?
  • Did you have a big wedding? Where was it?
  • Where did you live when you first got married?

The Legacies from Adulthood

  • What is the best advice you ever received? Who was it from?
  • Do you have any regrets or things you wish you could do over?
  • Do you have any advice or life lessons you want younger generations of the family to hear?
  • How has the world changed from the time you were a child?
  • How do you want to be remembered by future generations?

We hope this gives you a good starting point for capturing your family history together!

senior living guide to aging well
Vitality Living half Blossom