By Roz Jones
Today I want to talk about having conversations with the elderly. Some people find it difficult or don’t know what to say to older people. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Whether you work or volunteer at a nursing facility, have an elderly neighbor who you want to get to know, care for an older loved one, or some other way you interact with the elderly, knowing how to have better conversations with them helps both of you thrive.
Senior members of the population are more prone to loneliness than other age groups. Weakened health, decline in physical mobility, and loss of driving privileges due to age all affect their ability to socialize. This doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy company.
3 Ways to Have a Conversation with Older Generations
- Ask open-ended questions. Ask about their family, for example. Encourage them to talk about their life. Seniors are a wealth of knowledge, filled with stories from decades of life experiences, funny stories, inspiring tales of courage, relationship stories, or even shocking things like wars or living in the Great Depression.
- Sit down with them with their photo albums, music records, or recipes and travel back through time, encouraging them to tell their stories behind the images.
- Try to find a quiet place that is relaxing and has few distractions. Turn off radios, televisions, and your phone. Be mindful of hearing challenges they might have. You may have to speak a little louder, slower, and more distinctly so they can understand your words. Be patient if they struggle to find the right words.
Use these conversation starters to help you build relationships with older generations.
- What life experiences gave you the most happiness?
- How did your military experience shape you?
- Tell me about your friends growing up? What was school like?
- What’s your view on ….?
- Do you recall the types of clothing or popular hairstyles of your youth?
- What was your favorite time of day when you were younger?
I’ve just launched Shop With Roz, my online store filled with supplies and gifts for every caregiver. You can find a wide variety of products in the store to help yourself and your loved one. Check it out here!
After you have a look through the store, see any products you use and love as a caregiver, and think we should share them with everyone? Let me know!
It’s here, I am so excited to share a new caregiver app called CircleOf….This app will allow you to surround yourself with resources and experts from your community including ME!!!! As you are looking through the app, you will see my familiar face. I’m excited about this partnership and new ways to support you as you support your loved one. Here’s the link so you can explore the app. I would love your feedback and spread the word by sharing the link to family and friends.
Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on addressing mental health as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!