Maybelle Carter Blog
Friday, 28 August 2015 22:09

Seniors Should Write their Life Stories

write your life storyCommunication is constantly changing, with new technologies springing up seemingly every other day. The ways we talk to each other aren’t the same as they were even 10 years ago. One thing hasn’t gone away, though. We are still fascinated by stories and storytellers!

Seniors might not realize it, but their lives have been full of great stories to share with their families and friends. They have decades worth of wisdom and insight stored up and ready to share, but they might not know how appreciated it can be. This is where writing comes in.

“The life review process helps a person find meaning, value, and fulfillment. It gives the person a sense of self-worth and of value to others.”
– Dr. Augustine DiGiovanna, Salisbury State University

Not only can writing one’s “memoirs” be a learning experience for younger generations, it can be beneficial for the writer. Reflecting on their lives and writing their stories can become a new hobby for seniors! It can help keep their minds and imaginations active, helping them to make sense of events long past. Additionally, the opportunity to discuss and share these memories helps foster a sense of community and can help keep them from feeling isolated.

This becomes increasingly important if the senior is living in an assisted living facility like Maybelle Carter. Writing it not only a pleasant pastime but it also gives them a tangible way of passing on memories to their families someday.

If you’re unsure where to start in the writing process, here are some tips:

  • Start with short stories or vignettes. Trying to record your whole life can be a daunting task, so start small. Take it one story at a time, and focus on its details and the lessons or perspective you may have learned in that specific situation. And don’t confine yourself to beginning with stories about your childhood; you are the storyteller, so you can start where you want!
  • If you still aren’t sure where to start, think about significant events that happened during your life. This could be a major historical event, and you can write about how your life was affected by it. Or it could be something specific to your personal life or your family. Describe the event. How did you feel about it? What changes did it cause in your life? Did you learn anything from it? (This question brings up another point.)
  • When you are writing about an important life event, consider what you may have learned from it. If you have gained any wisdom from a certain situation, include that in your story. It could be a learning moment for the person with whom you’re sharing!
  • Be vulnerable. Tell the whole story, even if it may be a sad one. Emotional reflection is healthy, and looking back in order to write a story like this may help you gain new perspective even now. Whatever events you’re describing, happy or not so happy, they shaped you into the person you are today. If there are certain details that you don’t want to share, you don’t have to share them. If you would rather change names to protect others, you can! This is your story, so you control what goes into it.
  • Be descriptive! Give colorful details, rather than just stating the facts. Appeal to the senses in your writing. This will allow your readers or listeners to make a stronger connection with your story.
  • Include memorabilia. If you have been holding on to trinkets or photos that may connect with the memories in your stories, share them! This helps your family add a level of significance to the story. They can see what you looked like at the time, see the other people who played a part, or touch an item that was significant to you at the time!

If you have trouble writing or typing, using a video or voice recorder is a great way to preserve your stories! There are also groups in various places across the country who get together to write and share their stories on a regular basis.

Have fun sharing the story of you!

Written by Chanel Bell

Nashville assisted livingDid you know that the more doctors you have managing your care, the more you can find yourself at risk? Multiple prescriptions can mean a larger possibility for drug errors, including drug-to-drug interactions; under- or over-utilization of a drug; duplication of therapies; and incorrect dosages.
You are your own best advocate when it comes to your health care. Communicating clearly and effectively about your medical history with your doctors is imperative. Your ongoing health depends on it.
There are some easy ways to make sure you have made the most of your time with your physician and leave your visit knowing that you have asked all of the right questions and are aware of next steps regarding your follow up treatment.
Keeping your health information all together, perhaps in a notebook or binder, to bring to your next doctor's visit is a must. All doctors' names, phone numbers, copies of insurance cards, a list of current medications, etc. should be included.
Ask someone to come with you at your next appointment. A friend or relative can ensure that you know when your appointments are and keep notes regarding doctor's instructions. They can also help you keep your medications in order.
Be sure to ask your doctor whether any of the medications that they have prescribed will interact in any way with medications that you've previously been prescribed.
Lastly, if have questions about anything you discussed during your appointment, don't be afraid to ask if your doctor will explain it to you again.

Photo Credit: diekatrin via Compfight cc

Request Information