Seniors crave social connection as much as the rest of us. Unfortunately, sometimes they are less able to verbalize their feelings as well as they used to or are self-conscious about slower speech or reduced memory. Some extra effort may be needed to strike up a conversation with them.
Planning for a Visit
If you know ahead of time that you’ll be visiting a senior, consider bringing something to do or talk about that might help trigger memories for them. A few ideas include:
- A family photo album
- Music from when the person was young
- A simple craft project or puzzle
- A homemade goodie
If they have access to a kitchen and used to enjoy cooking, bring ingredients for a meal or snack you can enjoy making and eating together. This might spark conversations about favorite foods, cooking techniques, or recipes.
Questions to Spark a Conversation
If conversations don’t seem to flow naturally, here are some questions that might help:
- Who influenced your life the most?
- What is the happiest moment of your life?
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
- What is your earliest memory? Note that many people’s long-term memory stays intact much longer than their short-term memory.
- Who were your friends when you were growing up?
- Did you have a pet?
- Did you travel when you were younger? Where was your favorite vacation?
- What was your favorite hobby?
- What was school like for you as a child? What were your favorite and least favorite subjects?
- What do you wish you'd done that you didn’t?
Want to learn more?
Be sure to check out our free Marketing Monthly program for more tips on striking up conversations with seniors.