The generations between a young adult and a senior citizen can make discussions a little exhausting. Between having very different experiences and opinions, younger people can clash with the elderly or lose interest if the conversation becomes dull.
However, there are lots of questions that can help you to build a lively conversation with any elderly person, whether it’s your grandparent or a stranger.
1. Questions About Their Favorite Things
A perfect light-hearted inquiry to use as a conversation starter with seniors is asking about their favorite things in a variety of categories. It’s an easy way of getting into a conversation that doesn’t deal with any serious subjects.
Some examples of questions about favorites include:
- What is your favorite type of food?
- Where is your favorite place in the world?
- Who is your favorite musician?
- What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday afternoon?
- What is your favorite gift that you’ve received?
Try to choose questions that are a little more creative than asking them about their preferences on colors. The best type of introductory question is one that gets the other person thinking.
2. Questions About Their Life
Another great topic to bring up with your elderly loved ones revolves around their life. Asking about what they’ve done with their life has a way of bringing pleasant nostalgia into the conversation. It can quickly spark a bubbly discussion that goes on for hours.
Some examples of questions about life include:
- Where were you born?
- What has been your greatest accomplishment?
- Who was your childhood best friend?
- What was the name of your first love?
- What did you do as a career?
- If you could go back to any age in your life, which would it be and why?
Keep these questions cheerful in the hopes of reminding them of positive memories.
3. Questions About ‘Back In the Day’
A spin-off of questions about a senior person’s life is asking about what their childhood and young adult life was like. Questions about their family, pets, or school life would all fall into this category.
Some examples of questions about childhood include:
- What is your fondest childhood memory?
- What were your parents like?
- What did you think the world would be like today 50 years ago?
- What did you do for fun when you were younger?
- Did you have any pets growing up?
- Where did you work for your first job?
Life was likely very different for your grandparents or elderly neighbor. Asking about their life while growing up can be interesting for both of you.
4. Questions About Miscellaneous Subjects
Consider asking a question about a miscellaneous subject if you don’t want to get into a conversation that’s too heavy, but want to learn more than just their favorite movie. These types of topics are still upbeat without being boring.
- Who is someone that inspires you?
- What is something that you recommend I put on my bucket list?
- What do you imagine the world will be like in 25 years?
- Can you recommend a book I should read?
- What would constitute your perfect day?
- Is there a moment in history that you remember in detail?
Miscellaneous questions inspire a conversation that’s a little more intense, but also greatly rewarding.
5. Questions About Their Wisdom
There’s a lot you can gain from a deep conversation with an elderly loved one. One of the most interesting topics to talk about with seniors is their accumulated wisdom.
Examples of questions about wisdom include:
- If you could give one piece of career advice to 18 year olds, what would it be?
- Have you ever made a decision that you regretted?
- Can you tell me about the rewarding aspects of getting older?
- What modern-day invention have you been most impressed by?
- Have you achieved happiness in your life? How did you do it?
- What do you want people to remember about you?
Asking a senior person about their nuggets of advice might even provide you with some insight that shapes the course of your life.
Conversations with seniors can be rich and rewarding. By taking the time to intentionally engage with meaningful questions and topics, you’ll both be more likely to enjoy the time spent together.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.