In this month’s edition, we look at some useful tips that seniors can use when interacting with other seniors and it will also be of value to caregivers and adult children of seniors too.
The following information is a resource to get conversations started: senior-to-senior or younger adult-to-senior, but it doesn’t guarantee effective communication.
You’ll have to each add a little sprinkle of patience for these tips to work. On the basis that we can agree to be patient with one another, let’s begin….
Now, we all know that humans are social creatures, we need human interaction and affection to survive. If we don’t get it (no matter what age we are) we can suffer a great deal of loneliness and anxiety. So the best medicine and antidote to that problem, is talking with people.
But how do we get started?
Well, luckily, in a community like Palos Verdes Villa, there is plenty of opportunities to be around others…
With that being said, it’s not always easy to make the first move.
However, senior conversation starters are not much different from those you use with anyone. You just need to pick a topic and start talking.
Remember, sometimes it’s not so much about what you say, other things come into play…
… like the sentiment behind your words, or the attentiveness you show when listening, or plain and simple… just being there, so someone isn’t alone.
Why are sons & daughters of aging parents choosing Palos Verdes Villa?
Whatever conversational situation you find yourself in, here are some conversation starters for inspiration.
Ask About The Past
Seniors like to reminisce about their past. It helps them relive the wonderful moments they had as children or youths. They might like to discuss the hardships they endured and how they overcame them.
You could ask about their favorite childhood memories, what kind of fun activities they got involved in, and the lessons they learned from such activities or from their childhood in general.
Ask For Views Present Day
Seniors like to compare what they observe now with how things used to be in the past. You can discuss the foods they liked to eat as they were growing up and whether such foods are still available.
You can also talk about subjects such as: technology and ask them whether they feel it has some positive effects on society.
Or talk about today’s price of bread, milk, & gas, compared to when they were growing up… or discuss social issues.
Look Toward The Future
I know as we get older, some might think there is nothing to look forward to, but there is. When discussing the future, we can talk about the positive changes that are happening in the world, we can discuss children, grandchildren, upcoming weddings, births.
Thinking about the future of the world, can really get our imaginations firing, which is great for an active and healthy mind.
You could discuss how your ‘conversation partner’ wants to be remembered.
For example: My Dad cares very much that my young nephew remembers him. So he likes to take part in lots of activities with him, which keeps him feeling young and happy.
Ask About Favorite Things
You could ask your ‘conversation partner’ 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 help the conversation take an interesting direction.
You could talk about what you like and encourage your ‘talking buddy’ to try them with you.
Discuss Life Achievements
Discussing a person’s life achievements is a great way to help make them feel happy about their accomplishments.
Ask them about what they are proud of. It can be about the job they did, the places they visited, the things they saw, the concerts they attended, the medals they won, trophies they still have, the kids that they raised, or that time they rebuilt a car engine on their own.
Ask them how these achievements shaped their lives and what lessons they would like to pass to the current generation.
Some elderly people are very proud of their academic achievements and this can be a great topic for them. They might like to discuss their college life. And the romances they did ir didn’t have. Or the trouble they did or didn’t cause.
You can ask if they went to college, what they studied, and their opinions about those colleges today.
If they didn’t go to college, you can ask about what they did instead.
Most seniors feel so happy to discuss family. Ask about brothers or sisters. Who they are, where they are, and what they are doing.
You could ask about family members as they were growing up. They will tell you a lot, even about family members who have passed on.
Discuss Their Spouses
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, how old they were when they met, when they got engaged, and got married etc.
Ask them to compare their weddings to modern weddings etc.
Talk About What They Do To Get Rid Of Stress
Seniors can feel lonely, especially when their children are grown-ups and no longer live with or near them.
It can be useful to open up space for your ‘conversation partner’, so they can discuss with you how they cope with a stressful situation or simply the challenges of daily life as a senior.
So, how’s that for some good ideas?
We hope you find them useful.
Print them out to keep handy if you’d like.
So there you go, this month’s newsletter, all done.
Hopefully, you found a nugget of wisdom inside – for a richer, happier, more fulfilling retirement.
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That’s all for now, until next time…
P.S. Now you can book a tour and see the villa (for yourself or your loved one) using the link below. (Just click the blue link).
29661 S Western Ave, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Now, a few last tips before you go off and start a new conversation
Remember, seniors hearing isn’t what it used to be.
So be patient and try not to shout. Speak slowly & clearly and you should be good.
If your conversation partner, cannot speak as fast as you.
Again, be patient, don’t talk over them and give them your undivided attention. Everyone deserves to be heard.
So try not to interrupt, you might learn something, even if what you learn is more patience.
Avoid jumping from one topic to another as this might get senior seniors confused.
Better to focus on one topic and discuss it extensively, before you jump to any other topic.
One more thing, choose the right environment for your discussion. It shouldn’t be in a noisy place with the competing sounds of a TV or radio.
Lastly, remember to do your best to accept differences of opinion, to see another’s world-view from their perspective and live and let live.
These conversation starters are not a competition to see who can be right.
They are a pleasant and life-enhancing experience to share with another person who has feelings, just like you.