You are spending a quiet Saturday afternoon with your grandfather. You want to know so many things about his life and find a way to bond with him while he is still here. However, do you find yourself struggling to find fun topics to talk about? Does the shared silence make you feel uncomfortable even though you’re sitting next to your beloved grandfather?
It may be hard to start a conversation with our elderly relatives, but it’s important to keep trying. With their wealth of knowledge and experience, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with their interesting stories and cherished memories.
Try this list of topics to stay connected, and uncover the hidden treasure of wisdom and insight that they have to offer.
RELATED: Why “The Talk” with Your Aging Parents Should Be More Than One Conversation
Why Is Communicating With Senior Parents Hard to Achieve?
Our parents and grandparents’ generation witnessed amazing historical events. It’s natural for us to have questions about their experience and find out more about what their life looked like. You might be experiencing the following communication blocks when trying to communicate with your parents.
The Wrong Environment
Don’t pick somewhere too noisy and distracting when trying to have a conversation. This is distracting for both of you and might make it difficult for your family member to hear you.
Too Many Topics
Instead of asking vague general questions, pick one topic that you think is interesting. Your genuine interest in their experience will encourage them to continue the conversation and share.
Don’t rush your aging relatives and let them speak at a comfortable pace. If you make them uncomfortable or flustered, they are less likely to continue your chat.
Interesting Topics to Talk About With Elderly
Start with these engaging topics to talk about with elderly friends and family, and embrace the wealth of information they have in store for you!
Topic 1: The Past
This is an easy conversation starter and often a favorite in the senior community. Find out what your relatives miss from the past and what stands out to them. Do they remember their first job? First romance? First attempt at cooking? This is a great way to find out details they wouldn’t usually share.
Topic 2: The Present
Asking to discuss the present can be eye-opening. Your parents and grandparents have witnessed more change in the world than you and probably have insights you haven’t considered. Within your comfort, you can discuss politics, technology, fashion trends, and anything else that they find interesting in today’s society.
Topic 3: The Future
Ask what they see changing in the future. This is another great example of their wisdom from past experiences. It could also be interesting to find out what things they wish would happen in the future that may not necessarily be available to them.
Topic 4: Their Achievements
To make anyone feel comfortable, start a conversation by asking about them. Spend the time to find out about their accomplishments and regrets. Discover how they felt attending university or if they dreamed of a different career. Their answers may surprise you.
Topic 5: Entertainment
This topic can cover books, movies, television, sports, and anything else that they enjoy. Find out what kind of music they like today versus what they grew up listening to. Ask them if they have read any books or if they have tried audiobooks or podcasts. The exchange of entertainment-focused ideas might give them a new hobby or pastime later.
Topic 6: Advice
With this last topic, we encourage you only to ask if you are genuinely interested in listening. Giving and receiving advice can be tricky topics to talk about with elderly family members. We suggest not giving an opinion unless your relatives ask you first.
All of these are great conversation topics to talk about with elderly family members. We hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find out.
12 Oaks Communication Style
Our team believes there are plenty of exciting topics to talk about with the elderly. We encourage you to think outside the box and chat with them about something that makes them excited or intrigued for the conversation to continue. Our dedicated team values every moment we spend learning more about our intriguing residents and their vibrant past.
We believe in total transparency and will communicate directly with you about your relative’s care in our community. Please don’t hesitate to reach out today and find out what else we can offer your family.
If you have questions about topics to talk about with elderly or any concerns discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while still leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks community is an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to book a scheduled personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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