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The past can be a powerful resource.
The past can be a powerful resource. / Comstock Images / Getty


Many adult children regret that they didnít ask more about their own family history after losing a parent. This is particularly true for family caregivers, since they must focus on managing medication, stocking the fridge and coordinating care. Taking time to learn about the past can seem as if itís a luxury.

Jody Gastfriend of, an online resource helping families connect with trusted caregivers, provides these tips to help the senior in your life create his or her own legacy:

Make a video biography.

Hire a professional, or use a flip cam to create a lasting memory of your parentís advice, anecdotes and life stories.

Transcribe memories.

Not everyone has the time or inclination to write a memoir. Ask questions and let your parent tell the story.

Create a photo album.

A scrapbook is a tribute to your loved one and a gift to the whole family. Document your parentís life journey.

Write an "ethical will."

This is an expression of gratitude, values or wishes, rather than a legal document. Incorporate one into your formal estate plan, or simply help your loved one compose a letter from the heart to future generations.

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