Reminiscing with Our Great Grandparents

Reminiscing Family TreeReminiscing together; today more families are composed of five generations who can all sit in the same room. This has not been true in generations past. Genealogy and DNA searches are very popular today as any Google search will show or number of commercials on television. Since vast amounts of public records; birth certificates, death certificates, military and property records etc. are now digitized, many searches can be done from home. Curiosity is one reason to look for former generations in your family tree. With the abundance of DNA testing available now, more people who have a need to know “where they came from” they can find out more about their medical and physiological make up. Reminiscing today becomes a focused search for the relatives in our past.

Fun Activity with Your Elder Loved Ones

A lot of family fables and facts are there for the asking from your older parents and grandparents. They may have many stories to tell and even more, they may have photographs and memorabilia to share with you. Old photo albums, scrapbooks may be stored away in a basement or attic, garage or in a closet. Think of it as your personal family treasure hunt. Just by beginning to ask questions, a lot of memories may surface and healthy reminiscing begins. Online you can find all types of search aids, materials including games.  Just showing an interest in your parent’s families can generate a lot of conversation… and information! There may even be workshops or seminars and presentations at local Senior Centers or Public Libraries.

Reminiscing Has Positive Psychological Effects

Reminiscing alone is therapeutic for many people, especially seniors. It helps to show a person how they have navigated through their life during the best and worst of times. How they overcame adversity and persevered over many of life’s challenges. It can also help reframe some misconceptions when experiences are looked back through the lens of older age. Viewing our life’s ups and downs can help us be more forgiving and appreciative of what our parents, grandparents and older generations overcame. It can also help show us how attitudes and personalities were developed. Gaining factual information through genealogy can help expose some family myths, for better or worse.

Time marches forward so if your parents are in their eighties or nineties; it is time to get started before they are no longer immediate resources of your family’s oral history. If an aging parent has Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia or memory impairment, putting together a simple family tree with pictures and some objects familiar to them can have a very comforting effect. This is true even if their memory is weak, they may gain a sense of the people in the photos are “friendly” to them. Or it may cause a spark of recollection or recognition from time to time.

Websites to Get Started With