Questions to Use for Creating a Memory Book With the Elderly

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A grandmother looks at a book on the sofa with her two grandchildren.
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Passing the legacy of a person down through the generations requires forethought. The grandparents probably won't be around for the entirety of their grandchildrens' lives. Therefore, constructing a memory book for the purpose of recording the life and experiences of the elderly is a way to preserve their memories. There are many questions you can ask an elderly person in order to illicit their perspectives on their life.


Ask About Family Roots

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Start at the beginning by asking questions about family roots. For example, what were your parents and grandparents names? Where were they from? What jobs did they have? Who were their brothers and sisters? Did your parents have any hobbies? Ask them to recall a specific memory of their mother and father. Are there any famous or notable ancestors in the family? What are some important elements of their heritage that you would like passed on to future generations?

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Ask About Childhood

A grandfather tells his family a humorous story.
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Move on to questions about the subject's childhood. Where were you born? Who were you named after? Who chose that name? Who are your brothers and sisters? Is there a story about their birth? What did you do for fun during childhood? What was your favorite childhood book or story? What kinds of music did you like? What was the favorite place you visited? Who were your childhood friends? Are they still around? Who were your cousins? What was the hardest lesson you learned as a child?


Ask About Growing Up

Vintage books, eye glasses, and clock on a desk.
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Now you can interview them about growing up. Where did you go to school? What did you want to be when you grew up? What was your first or most difficult job? What chores were you responsible for at home? What were your parent's rules? What are you the most proud of? Who was your first date? What movies, books, clothes or songs did you like? What was your first home-away-from-home like? What subjects were you best at? What activities or sports did you enjoy? What were your hopes for the future?


Ask About Their Love Story

A close-up of antique wedding cake figurines.
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Now, allow them to tell the love story of their life. How did you meet your spouse? Was it love at first sight? What year was it? How long did you date? How did he ask her to marry him? What did her father say? Where were they married? Who came to the wedding? Where did they honeymoon? How many children did they want? How many children did they have? How was their experience in childbirth? What were their children like as babies? How did they enjoy being parents? If the book is being passed to grandchildren, ask them to relay stories about how the grandchildren's parents acted as kids.


Ask About The Important Stuff

A grandfather hugs his granddaughter.
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Next, interview the subject on their legacy. What are your political views? What are your religious views? Did you ever have a paranormal experience? Is there a historical event that changed your life? What did you turn to during hard times? Is there a poem or prayer that helped you? What is the most important lessen you learned? What do you hope for your children and grandchildren? How would you define true happiness? How much do you love your children and grandchildren?



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