With Social Distancing, more of us are talking with seniors by phone and sometimes we run out of topics to discuss. Here are some tips and ideas for engaging conversations!
Give them your full attention and be patient with them in case they can’t speak at a faster pace. Do not interrupt them because they like to speak freely and from their hearts. And in the course of the conversation, avoid jumping from one topic to another as this might get them confused.
Another thing to remember is to choose the right environment for your discussion. It shouldn’t be in a noisy place with competing sounds of TV or radio. Lastly, remember to accept differences in opinion and learn to compromise whenever a decision has to be made.
Discussion Topics for Seniors
Conversation topics change as people age and become interested in new things. Discover nine of the best discussion topics for seniors here.
- Ask About Their Past
The elderly like to talk much about their past. It helps them relive the wonderful moments they had as children or youths. Some will also discuss the challenges they had and how they overcame them. This can also help you to learn.
Ask them about their favorite childhood memories, what kind of fun activities they use to do to make life interesting and the lessons they learned from such activities or from their childhood in general.
- Ask for Their Views on the Present
This is a topic that comes out naturally from the elderly. They usually like to compare what they observe now with how things used to be in the past. Here you can discuss the foods they liked to eat as they were growing up and whether such foods are still available. You should take their advice about how to start a healthy lifestyle.
You can also bring in the issue of technology and ask them whether they feel it has some positive effects on society.
- Look Toward the Future
The elderly have been around for many years and have witnessed so many things. You can ask them what they think about their children or grandchildren in the next 10 years, or even how they think the world will be in the next 10 years. You can also ask them how they would like to be remembered.
- Ask About Their Favorite Things
Find out from them if they have any favorite type of music, movie, or show. You may be surprised that there are certain things you have in common and this can bring a very interesting conversation.
Also, find out if there are any fun activities they like to participate in. If it is something you know about, go at length, and discuss it. You can also mention some activities that you feel might be of interest to them and ask if they are willing to learn more about them.
- Discuss Their Life Achievements
Discussing their achievement makes them feel happy about their accomplishments. Ask them about what they are proud of. It can be about the buildings they constructed, their achievements at the places where they worked, or the trophies and medals they received as rewards in sports.
Ask them how these achievements shaped their lives and what lessons they would like to pass to the current generation.
- Discuss the Colleges They Went to
Some elderly people are very proud of their academic achievements and this can be a great topic for them. They also like to discuss their college life. So, ask them whether they went to any college, what they studied, and do they used to make any extra income during their college days by doing some job or anything else and also ask their opinions about those colleges today.
They will tell you about how the college life was during their time, their academic achievements, and how these helped to shape them. If they never went to any college, you can ask about what they did instead.
- Discuss Their Spouses
Many seniors like to discuss their spouses, so this is also a very interesting topic. They will open up and tell you where they met, how they met, and how old they were when they met, got engaged, and got married. Ask them to compare their weddings to modern weddings.
- Talk About What They Do to Get Rid of Stress
Most elderly persons get stressed up and they would be willing to discuss this. Some may also be feeling lonely, especially when their children are grown-ups and no longer live with them. It is interesting to let them discuss with you how they cope in such situations and even with the day to day life.
There are many great topics you can discuss with the elderly. It’s so rewarding to find topics that are engaging for you both and bring a smile to their face!
By: Suraj Lulla