Each year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the U.S. observes a National Day of Listening — where families set aside time to tell stories and record them with family and friends.
Learn more about celebrating this day with seniors in assisted living, and read on for tips about how to start a conversation and preserve stories with loved ones.
Listening and Sharing Stories with Seniors in Assisted Living
Though we should be taking as much time as we can to visit the seniors in our lives, the National Day of Listening is a perfect day to set aside some time to listen and share stories with our loved ones in assisted living.
These stories could be anything — from where your family comes from, to an earliest memory, to how your senior parents or grandparents grew up — but the most important thing is that you capture the memory.
Like our friend at A Place for Mom, Joan Lunden says:
“This kind of recording of your family history is priceless.”
Starting a Conversation on the National Day of Listening
Observing a National Day of Listening with your senior loved ones in assisted living does not have to be difficult.
These simple questions recommended by StoryCorps for this day can get a great conversation going:
1. What is your earliest memory?
2. Do you have any favorite stories from your childhood?
3. How would you describe a perfect day when you were young?
4. What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
5. What was the happiest moment of your life?
6. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
7. What are you proudest of in your life?
8. Has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
9. How are you different now?
10. Is there any message that you’d like to leave for your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, or for future generations yet to come?
You can record these conversations on any available device — whether it be your smart phone or a computer, then save them and have them to cherish and share with friends or other members of your family for years to come.
If you choose to celebrate a National Day of Listening in assisted living with a senior in your life, be sure to share your story with us below.