Smartphones, tablets and social media, oh my! With so many ways to take photos and videos, capturing the moments that matter should be easier than ever. But do you? Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and YouTube are full of images and videos of food, babies, pets, decorating, fashion and travel but how many images to you have of your aging loved ones?
It often seems like millennials have record every moment of their lives and the holidays are an ideal time to create lasting memories of all of your family members to create lasting memories. Consider planning ahead as well as setting aside some time during the festivities to capture a few memorable images.
While posed photographs guarantee everyone will be in the photos, spontaneous photos and images may better capture the spirit of your family. Keep in mind that many senior citizens might need a little help to look their best and might not be comfortable in photo of a camera unless they do. If needed, help your loved one get dressed for the occasion and then make sure they are surrounded by friends or other family members to engage them while you are recording. Think about some of your favorite characteristics of your aging parents or grandparents; is it their great laugh, hardworking hands or carefully coiffed hair? Whatever your love about them the most, get close enough to take a quality image or recording without a lot of background distractions or noise.
Holiday gatherings create a natural setting for a variety of candid photographs as family members tend to dress up and will be interacting with friends and family members during throughout the day. Do multiple family members gather in the kitchen while preparing a meal? Consider setting your phone or video camera in an unobtrusive location to capture the love, laughter and stories that are part of the process. Ask questions to help prompt memories or favorite family recipes Ė you may be surprised at what you learn.
If your aging loved ones arenít up to a lot of physical activity, then try to engage them while sitting in their favorite chair. Ideally, use a natural light source and ask them to tell the children or grandchildren about cherished holiday keepsakes, what they did to celebrate the holidays when they were young or about their favorite memory.
Even if your elderly family member are currently living in an assisted living facility, nursing home or even receiving care in a hospital, you can still celebrate the holidays with them as well as lift their spirits during the holidays. Help them look their best by offering to help them dress up, style their hair and apply make-up if they would like to. If you would like to try to take photos or videos during your visit, keep in mind that it might be best to only come with a few family members or friends at time. Not only do you not want to overwhelm your loved one with too much attention at once but it is also nice to know they will have several opportunities to engage with the family throughout the holidays. It is also important to keep in mind that your elderly family member may not have much energy, so it might be best to restrict the photography or recording session before the seniorís energy wanes. It can be a bit tricky to capture a flattering image when surrounded by medical equipment but close ups and headshots would eliminate the majority of medical environment.
Use this time together to connect with your older family members, not only will you capture memorable moments but you might even connect in a new way. If the time has come that you or a family member is no longer able to maintain an independent lifestyle, contact California Registryto discuss elder care services and options available throughout California.