With so many negative things surrounding us these days, it is a good time to focus on some good memories and fun for elders living in assisted living. Since conversations and activities are still a part of senior living, it helps to guide communication in a positive direction. Shared memories can help lift the spirits and create a positive environment.
Recently an article appeared in Reminisce Magazine that was filled with fun memories that most Elders have in common about things that no longer exist. Whether these events happened when they were growing up or if they are experiences that their children had in the family, it is fun to look back.
Shared memories are community builders and a way to find common bonds.
Even though intellectually we know that the good ole days were not always so good, it does seem like it was an easier, less complicated time. Summertime was supposedly a time of easy living; when slow was good and sitting in the shade or on a porch swing was a way of life.
Today it is all about speed and accomplishment. So our elders may feel out of sync with the contemporary world. Memories of earlier days can take us back for an afternoon of conversation.
Here are some shared memory ideas for those who are in their 80s and 90s:
- Do you remember sharing a phone on a party line? Everyone had a nosey neighbor who might not hang up. You spoke to a real live operator who placed the call and put it through for you. Can you remember your first phone number? What about getting your first rotary dial phone on a private line? You were really uptown!
- Do you remember when gas stations pumped your gas, washed your windshield, and checked the oil? All of that for 25 cents a gallon. You might have enjoyed a Coke out of a big box that had ice water in it, and you paid a dime to wind it down the channels to the gate where it popped out. Some folks put a package of Planter’s Peanuts right into the Coke bottle for a salty-sweet flavor!
- Did you collect S & H Green Stamps at the store? You could trade them in on various household gifts. Did you ever collect a set of dishes with green stamps? You might be interested to know that if you found a book of Green Stamps today, they can still be redeemed online!
- Did the iceman deliver ice to your home for your icebox? Did you run out to meet the truck and try to get a sliver of ice that fell off the blocks?
- Was milk delivered to your front door in glass bottles? Did you can your own vegetables? Did you make bread at home or buy it?
- Do you remember going to the theater, getting popcorn, and a drink all for 25 cents?
- Do you remember when female teachers could not be married, and if they did get married, they were dismissed?
- Did your kids wait on the front porch for the ice cream truck to come down the street?
- Did you wear a swimming dress? Do you remember when the first bikini arrived?
- Were you or your kids fans of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans? When did you see your first television? What radio shows were your favorites?
- What was your first car? Do you remember what it cost?
A conversation could last for hours with a few good questions.
It doesn’t make any difference if two or three people are engaged in a conversation about common memories, or if someone leads a guided conversation with a larger group. The acknowledgment of shared experience is a community builder.
A walk down memory lane and memories to talk about.
In the 1930s, what was happening?
- Great Depression
- Franklin D Roosevelt elected
- The Star-Spangled Banner was named the U.S National Anthem
- Prohibition Repealed
- Adolf Hitler named chancellor in Germany
- Dust Bowl
- Hoover Dam was built
- Al Capone went to jail
- Clarence Birdseye introduced his new frozen foods to the market
- Ruth Wakefield invented the chocolate chip and the chocolate chip cookie
- Fiberglass first hit the market
In the 1940s, what did things cost?
- Average Cost of new house $3,920.00
- Average wages per year $1,725.00
- Cost of a gallon of Gas 11 cents
- Average Cost for house rent $30.00 per month
- Radio $16.95
- Average Price for a new car $850.00
- Battery for Torch 10 cents
- Hoover $52.50
- Campbells Tomato Soup 25 cents for 3 cans
- Chewing Gum 12 cents for 3
- Flour 25 cents 5 Pound bag
- Fresh Chickens 55 cents per pound
In the 1950s, what were the main trends?
- The postwar booms
- Moving to the suburbs
- The Civil Rights Movement
- The Cold War
- 1950s Pop Culture
- 1950s music
Enjoy your Senior Living Community the best way possible in these hard times.
It is so important to have meaningful conversations that lead to good memories of an earlier time. Elders will each have a different viewpoint and different experience, but it is fun to share.
What they all share is the ability to survive and thrive through some pretty difficult times. It may make today’s challenges a little easier to handle.
Whether you live in your own home or in Assisted Living in Kansas City, make it a goal to have fun a great conversation about shared memories with elders!