Create a Living History Journal this Labor Day

August 30, 2011

Monday, September 6 is our nation’s annual Labor Day Holiday.  It’s a great time for family gatherings, late evening summer meals and time spent on the nearby lake shore.   It’s also an excellent opportunity for family caregivers to enlist the help of their children or grandchildren in including senior loved ones in the festivities by conducting a living history interview.

Recollections About First Jobs Make Excellent Topic for Living History Inverviews with Seniors

Some Labor Day questions that may help initiate enriching conversations with senior loved ones include:

  1. What was your first job and how did you acquire this job?
  2. How old were you?
  3. How much were you paid?
  4. What did you like or dislike about the job?
  5. How long did you have your first job?

Most likely, your family historian will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of past jobs compared to first-time jobs of today.

If your senior loved one is retired, a conversation can be encouraged by asking:

  1. How did you transition from the work-a-day world to full retirement?
  2. Did you pursue a favorite hobby or travel?
  3. How do you feel about no longer working?

Other questions that your family historian may wish to ask:

  1. What were your parents’ jobs?
  2. Did your parents’ jobs or careers influence your career decisions?
  3. What was the biggest change that you witnessed from the beginning of your working career until retirement?

These are just a few ideas for you to consider when sharing an afternoon’s conversation with your loved one.  Creativity and a few open questions can lead to a wonderful day of exploration for all generations.  And, photographs or videography can help record the afternoon for other family members that weren’t able to share in your Labor Day celebration.

Happy Labor Day!

If you have suggestions on developing a living history archive for your family, please share your tips below or on our Caregiver Forum. 

Jason Sager, Owner Home Instead Senior Care Fairfax, Virginia

We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior who could benefit from our vast array of home care services in the Fairfax area , please call us at 703.750.6644, or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff of trained and certified home care personnel covering the Fairfax County, Virginia area.

Alisa Meredith, Writer

Guest writer Alisa Meredith is a blogger and social media professional with Scalable Social Media. Every once in a while, someone at Home Instead does something that compels her to stop Tweeting and write something real! This is one of those times.

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