DEAR ABBY: Millions of baby boomers are caring for, or offering moral support to, parents or other seniors. It is sometimes hard to find the time and motivation to go and visit, and challenging to hold conversations.
May I offer a suggestion to them? This is what I did for my sweet father-in-law when he was in his late 80s and newly widowed. Rather than visit him at his home, I would pick him up and take him for rides. I made it a "sentimental journey," driving him around to his former homes, places of employment, schools the kids attended, churches where marriages were held.
He loved it. It not only gave him a chance to see old landmarks, but also how things were changing in the towns. It led to some wonderful discussions. I know for sure that long-term memories outlive short-term ones. -- JERI IN GARDEN GROVE, CALIF.
DEAR JERI: Your suggestion is an excellent one, and you are sweet to share it with my readers. Your statement about long-term memory is true -- and another effective way to stimulate it is through music. A gift older relatives might enjoy would be discs or tapes of popular music from the '40s and '50s. That, too, should lead to some interesting topics of conversation.