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30 Reminiscing Questions To Ask Senior Loved Ones

30 Reminiscing Questions to Ask Senior Loved Ones

Our senior loved ones are full of stories and wisdom that can be valuable for younger generations. Sometimes all it takes is a question to prompt a series of interesting life stories or lessons learned. In addition to imparting wisdom, reminiscing questions for seniors can be beneficial for mental health and memory of seniors.

Benefits of Reminiscing Questions for Seniors

Asking reminiscing questions is not just a good way to stay entertained and pass the time; questions that force reflection and thought actually have real cognitive benefits.

Reminiscing on great times of life can bring on a lighter mood and raise spirits. Simply talking about fun memories can bring seniors back to that frame of mind and even bring on feelings of gratitude. 

Trying to recall specific details of fond memories can also be a good exercise for the brain. Trying to recall a memory to tell a story may not feel like an intense brain exercise, but it is an important form of critical thinking. 

In need of some ideas to get the conversation going? Here are 30 reminiscing questions to ask senior loved ones.

Questions About Lessons Learned

Living many decades and making it to retirement comes with a lot of life experience and likely a lot of lessons learned. Seniors give some of the best advice and can help younger generations gain perspective and look at problems in a new way. 

  • Who are your mentors?
  • How have your goals changed throughout life?
  • Do you have regrets?
  • Would you do anything differently if you could?
  • What would you tell your younger self?
  • What advice do you have for younger generations?

You can also simply ask your senior loved one for advice on your own situation. You may be surprised by what unique solutions they help you come up with.

Questions About Family

Throughout all stages of life, family is often a cherished topic. Seniors have lived through a lot of changes in family dynamics and likely have a lot to share on the topic. Here are some reminiscing questions for seniors about family.

  • Have you looked up your family tree?
  • Do you know the origin of your name?
  • What do you remember about your grandparents?
  • Do you have any fun stories about your kids?
  • How has your family dynamic changed over time?
  • How did you meet your spouse?
  • What were your family pets like?

Getting perspectives on changing family dynamics can also help you navigate your own life as you raise or expand your family.

Questions About the Past

Asking questions about the past can be a great way to learn more about your senior loved one and get them to reminisce about fond times. Our senior loved ones have had many years of life experience and usually have many stories that can entertain, teach, or bring people closer together.

  • What was the happiest moment of your life so far?
  • Do you have a long-lost love?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  • What is your first memory?
  • What were your hobbies as a kid?
  • What was your favorite subject in school?

You can also ask about how they experienced significant events such as wars, the Olympics, or significant political events. Oftentimes our senior loved ones have unique perspectives that differ from our own.

Questions About Aging

One of the great things about having conversations with seniors is it can give you a window into the future. Seniors can speak to things that you haven’t experienced in your own life yet. You may be able to learn what is in store for you as you get older and look toward retirement.

  • What do you like about getting older?
  • What has surprised you most about getting older?
  • What is your favorite part about retirement?
  • What age would you go back to if you could?
  • Does time slow down or speed up during retirement?

It is possible that your senior loved one has not recently done a lot of reflection on aging. Asking these questions can be a natural prompt to take stock of where they are.

Questions About Changing Times

Seniors have lived through decades of changing technology, political climates, and more. They lived in ways that may be hard for you to even imagine or relate to today. Seniors can share some great perspectives on the present and the future.

  •  How have you seen technology help society?
  •  How have you seen technology hurt society?
  •  What do you miss most about the past?
  •  What customs have been lost over the years?
  •  How have you seen relationships and human interaction change?
  •  Is society better or worse than when you were a kid?

When reflecting on how times have changed, seniors often reveal customs and norms from previous generations that have been long lost. 

This is just a sampling of reminiscing questions for seniors. You may find that one question leads to another and another. No matter what question you have, get the conversation going and take the time to listen and reminisce with your senior loved one.

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 CareBed & Wheelchair Transfer AssistanceCompanionshipHousekeeping & Meal PreparationPersonal CareRecovery Care, and Transportation.

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater San Diego, Family Matter In-Home Care has offices throughout California including: Campbell, CARoseville, CASan Marcos, CA, and San Mateo, CA.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.

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