In today’s age of the Internet and social media, retirees across the United States are leaving an unusual legacy to their loved ones—lineage or their ancestral roots. Time magazine notes that retired adults have more time on their hands and are using this to their advantage. As a result, genealogy websites are now the second most-visited sites on the Internet.
Whether out of personal curiosity or to get to know and connect with other family members, there are many reasons why older adults, especially seniors do research about their family history. What benefits can they get from the knowledge that they have about their roots? How will this affect their well-being? Aside from preserving your family history for the next generation, tracing genealogy has significant effects on seniors.
Family history is only a part of the combination of factors, which contributes to chronic illnesses. In a report released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 96 percent of the Americans believe that family health history is important. Unfortunately, only one-third were able to gather it. Older people have a higher risk of diseases and family history can provide clues to the cause of a particular health challenge.
Knowing your genealogy can also be beneficial in knowing your nutritional needs as well as the adjustments in lifestyle behaviors such as alcohol consumption and smoking. Seniors who were able to come up with their family health history have contributed to their own well-being. They have also paved a way for the next generation to prepare for their well-being.
Knowing your genealogy not only helps you understand your medical history, it also has numerous psychological benefits. Seniors who were able to trace their roots get positive boosts in their mental well-being. It also gives them a sense of achievement for doing the research all by themselves. Being able to know their ancient roots also gives our senior loved ones the feeling that they belong to a family.
It also gives them a sense of self-worth and belonging where they feel they have a part in the family history. Aside from having something to do in their free time, seniors who are able to dig up their roots and share it with the younger generation helps create a sense of self-awareness and self-identity. This will build their confidence and enhance their ability to handle trauma and stress.
Adults who are tracing genealogy are also documenting their personal histories. Sharing this information with their children and grandchildren creates an interaction point. When connections with long lost or even distant relatives are made, the support system within the family expands.
In terms of understanding your past, the worn out adage “Knowledge is Power” is still very true. To many seniors, tracing genealogy gives them knowledge about their family members that have emotional splits. Knowing your genealogy also helps locate a new branch in your family tree. It also allows you to meet new family members and even leads to the discovery of a new status that could facilitate applications for visas or scholarship for younger members.
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