As we become senior citizens, family becomes more important to us. That’s because many of us, who are now senior citizens, are trying to figure out how we fit in with children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings, and the extended family. A Wikipedia article entitle “Old Age” states family relationships for senior citizens vary among cultures. The hope is that seniors to have at least one person for support throughout their life.
Seniors Citizens and Family Dynamics
Adult children often take on the role of friends. Siblings and extended family can become the focus of social life for senior citizens.
As we age, finances can be limited. Health can limit activity and travel. This again causes changes in the family dynamic. Older children have work and family commitments that often prevent frequent contact with senior parents who are limited in their ability to travel.
Seniors & Family Events
Family events become times to reconnect. Often, as seniors age, there is a sense of urgency about maintaining connections. Family tend to spread out more than they did even 50 years ago. The need for family connects becomes more acute as seniors age. The Royal Voluntary Service, in an article about loneliness and older people states that 42% of older people live alone. This percentage rises to 72% for those 85 and older. Maintaining family relationships is essential for senior support. Building friendships across age lines can also help eliminate loneliness in seniors.
Plan family events…… Start family traditions around:
- Family life events
- Significant Family Dates
- Social Events.
A single event is a fun happening. The second time for an event reinforces the fun. Holding an event a third time starts a tradition.
As we get older, we realize that family history can easily be lost. The parents and grandparents of baby boomers often were not open to talking about their lives. This is also true of many veterans.
Family history can be shared and preserved in a number of ways.
- Genealogical information can be gathered.
- Pictures and home movies can be collected, digitized and classified.
- A family historian can be appointed to record interesting family stories.
- Articles passed down between generations carry accompanying stories.
- Town and regional records can be searched and preserved.
- Visits to past residences and places of employment are important.
Seniors are often the stewards of family history. Imaginative ways to preserve that history can connect seniors to their roots as well as to the younger generation.
If you have begun a family tradition or perfected a way to preserve your family history, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.