Making a Lasting Mark in May

The month of May not only welcomes flowers but is also a celebration of seniors with Older American’s Month.  Older adults are encouraged to make their mark on people’s lives through the sharing of stories.  While many seniors are physically distancing, sharing memories, photographs or life lessons with friends and family can bring people much-needed connections during these difficult times. 

According to the Administration for Community Living, the theme, “Make Your Mark” was selected to encourage older adults to share their contributions with the community and celebrate the many talents, experiences and strengths they continue to offer.  At a time when younger people may be experiencing their first true crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults who have lived through wars, economic turmoil and widespread illness can help give the younger generations the benefit of their wisdom and perspective. 

With a little extra time on their hands, grandchildren can connect with their grandparents on a deeper level by asking questions about life when grandma or grandpa was young.  This Mother’s Day weekend is an ideal opportunity to set up a video chat and ask older adults to share a story, read a meaningful poem, sing a song or read a letter saved from long ago. 

While families may not be able to gather in person, mailing or dropping off a handwritten letter can let older adults know they are valued and cherished.  Recounting a favorite memory or trait that makes your loved-one special can give a senior the emotional lift they need to weather more days of social isolation.  Older adults may consider starting a journal this month of memories, stories and life lessons they can share in person or over a voice or video call later.  

For more tips about how to get started writing your story or interviewing an older loved one, following this link to Story Corps.