Is your parent like many and simply has a big box of photos somewhere that no one has time to organize and manage? Despite this lack of organization, your family still loves them as they contain important peeks into your family’s history through snapshots that have captured both the special moments and everyday moments.
The month of May can be a great time to go through those photos and find a purpose for them that goes beyond sitting in a box, crowded into an overflowing album, or tucked a drawer. Here are some great ways to celebrate National Photo Month with your aging parent and perhaps your entire family while also putting those photos to good use.
- Share the photos. Perhaps it’s just too overwhelming for your aging parent to think about what to do with all of her photos and that’s what causes her to do nothing. If that’s the case, perhaps she would entertain the idea of giving away a bunch of her photos. Have your elder care provider get large manila envelopes for your parent and write the names of family members on each envelope. Then you and your parent can start going through the piles of photos and place them in each envelope for each family member to give as a gift. She can give it to them personally, or place the envelopes in the mail.
- Share the stories. If your parent is a storyteller, gather the family together (either in person if everyone is vaccinated or virtually if there are still some health and safety concerns), and have your parent go through her photos and share the stories that go with each photo. Don’t only have her share the names of each person in the photo, but talk a bit about what is happening in the photo. If it’s a photo at a landmark, she can talk about how it’s changed over the years or if there is a car in the photo, she can share what driving and riding in a car was like 50 years ago compared to today.
- Share the history. If your parent has historical photos and no longer wants them, she might consider sharing them with a local museum or school to share the history of your community. If she has photos of stores or other buildings in your city, have her elder care drive her with the photos to these locations to see if they’d be interested in receiving these photos for their historical records.
- Share the love. Your parent might also be interested in using her photos as gifts. You can help her shop online or at local stores for frames that she can place special photos in to give to family and friends. She might find she’s more motivated to organize her photos if it’s a gift for someone else. Your parent could also visit a local crafting store with her elder care provider to find creative ways to create photo gifts for those she loves.
As you celebrate National Photo Month with your parent, don’t forget to take some new photos so that you’ll have these memories to last you for many years.