When it comes to conversing with seniors, sometimes you might hear them say they don’t have much news to share. This may be because they feel as though their world is shrinking and their well of interesting adventures has run dry.
The truth is, seniors have a lot of interesting things to share, it’s just a matter of finding ways to draw this out of them. Think of all that they have accomplished in life; the decades of changing world events they have witnessed, their personal experiences, all their learning and growing along the way. It really is worth it to take time to help seniors open up!
Family historian websites suggest that family stories are the most valuable legacies people can offer – capturing family history, retelling unique experiences, and passing along valuable philosophies and lessons.
Some younger family members might even be inclined to take notes or video tape conversations with their senior loved ones who are willing to talk about their lives.
Remember, sometimes it just takes one good question to spark a conversation that you will both find deeply rewarding! Below are some questions and prompts to help you get started:
- When and where were you born?
- Where were your parents born?
- What was it like growing up in that era?
- Can you think of any interesting memories from your childhood or youth you can share?
- What was your favourite family tradition?
- How did you meet your mate? (If you don’t know the story)
- Is there a grand adventure that you’ve never forgotten?
- Who are your heroes?
- Talk about your job/career/working life … was it gratifying / fulfilling?
- What sustained you through the disappointments and tragedies you had to face in life?
- If you could recap – what are some of the highlights of your life?
- What is your proudest achievement?
- If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be? (or) Do you have any big regrets?