Creating a legacy is something that we all may consider at some point in our lives. Whether our legacy lives on through our children or in another part of our lives, there is always something that gets left behind when we depart this world. If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia or another debilitating, progressive disease, you may want to consider how you can go about creating a lasting legacy with your loved one.
Here are some ideas to consider:
Creating a Lasting Legacy with Your Loved One’s Own Words
If your loved one has not progressed to a point where they have trouble remembering the past, this may be a good time to talk to them about sharing some of their life experiences in their own words. Was he or she a writer at some point? This could be a great way to engage the inner writer inside your loved one, though this is not a required skill.
If he or she enjoys journaling or sending letters, ask him or her to write short essays describing different times in their life. Was there a time when they learned a hard lesson? Or perhaps simply an entertaining story will do. By having your loved one write down their memories in their own words, you will have that piece of them long after they are gone. It will be one of the most special legacies someone can leave.
Collect Photos from Family and Friends
Sometimes, people don’t like having their photo taken, but if you notice your photo collection of your loved one is lacking, now is the time to start taking more pictures of time spent with family, but also reach out to others who know your loved one and ask them to share any photos from the past. You can start to put them all together in a digital or physical album that can be shared with friends and family long after your loved one is gone. Looking through photos can be a great way to share past fun times with your loved one as well.
Create a Memory Box
A memory box can be a fun and interactive way to get others involved in creating a legacy for your loved one, too. Each time someone comes over, ask him or her to write down a memory with your loved one and drop it into a box. At some point, you can share these memories with your loved one as a way to reflect on positive times, and you can also keep these memories to relive for years to come. This is also a good way to get your children and younger generations involved with your loved one’s legacy, as they can be focused on remembering the moments they have shared with your loved one. Each day can be a memory!
Videos are a great way to capture specific moments in time. If you haven’t already, start to record family gatherings and holidays on video. These videos don’t need to be long, and they can easily be recorded with a smartphone. Ask your loved one to say a few words on camera. You’ll be pleased to have these moments to replay later on for your kids and other friends and family. Videos can become wonderful records of special moments together and memories as they unfold in real time.
Use Old T-Shirts to Create a Quilt
This activity may require some creative work on your part, but perhaps it can be something that you and your loved one do together. Ask your loved one if they have some favorite articles of clothing that they don’t wear anymore. Use pieces of those fabrics to create a quilt that can be enjoyed by your loved one while they are still alive, and by family once they have passed. It can be a lovely way to remember the style legacy of your loved one.
Creating a legacy with your loved one can take many forms, but remember, a legacy is not about death, but about life and how your loved one lived theirs. Making a legacy is about creating positive experiences and memories to share with others well into the future. Enjoy the process with your loved one!
If you are a caregiver in need of in-home caregiving assistance for your loved one, don’t hesitate to contact us at 24/7 Nursing Care. (855) 687 – 7344.