Community and social living for the elderly enriches and improves their lives, which makes their daily living easy and maintainable. If an elderly loved one is living with you, you can learn more about the lives they have lived and connect with them deeply. These stories can be passed down through generations as part of family history or you can have a brief glimpse of how your loved one has lived.
Striking up a conversation with elders doesn’t just stop with those who live with you. Whether it be an old folks home where you regularly volunteer or a senior you often see in the park or outside, you can use the topics we have highlighted below to strike up a conversation with them.
What engaging questions you can ask the elderly?
- What life was like when you were young or when you were adults? Your loved one has likely lived a completely different life before you were born. This question gives you a glimpse of the life they have lived during their youth which can be most of the time hard to believe. You’ll find yourself in awe of what kind of life they have lived, which can be sometimes different from what you expect.
- What were the things popular during your time? Trends come and go and you might find that things considered popular during their time are already nonexistent during yours. This gives you and the senior time to talk about which things are trendy at the moment and have them reminisce about what they found popular back in the day.
- What important lessons have you learned? Since they are older than you, they must have lessons which they can impart and which you can use for your life. This can be lessons in all aspects of life such as money, love, or career which can benefit you in turn with your own life.
- What do you wish to change if you go back in time? Even though they have lived fulfilling lives, the seniors must have certain regrets in life that they keep mulling about before they sleep. This gives you a chance to see how they reflect on their lives so far and how they view their selves from the long time they have lived.
- How do you see the world in your next lifetime? Different people have different perspectives on how they view the afterlife. You may find yourself inspired or in awe of how each senior views the next lifetime.
- What life advice can you give? Apart from lessons, there may be life advice the senior may give you which you can use to guide you as you tread your path.
- What kind of dreams and goals you had growing up? You might be surprised to know what kinds of dreams or goals your elderly loved one had while growing up. If they deviate from such a dream, it can give you a moment to ask them what pushed them to change their dreams or what made them choose another path. This gives you an insight into how they are much like you when they were young.
- What did you and your siblings do for fun? What you and your siblings consider as a fun activity may be different from what the seniors and their siblings consider as fun during their time. You may be surprised by what they call games during their time.
- How did you meet your spouse? Even some seniors who have dementia may remember one thing and that’s the love of their life. Engaging the elderly with questions about their spouse and how they meet can give you a glimpse of how their eyes sparkle when they talk about their spouse and how their meeting has changed the course of their life.
- What do you remember about your parents and grandparents? Since you’re born after your elderly loved one, you might not have known their parents or grandparents. Asking them this question lets you in on a little family history which you can also pass to your children.
With life so short, making memories with your elderly loved ones is the best gift you could ever give them. These memories can be considered treasures which you can always hold close to your heart throughout your life. Of course, even if your loved one is living in an assisted living facility or co-living senior home, you can still spend some quality time with them whenever you visit them. What matters the most is that you spend time with them.