Learning more about your aging loved one can help you connect on a deeper level, but sometimes it’s difficult to bridge the gap between generations. Knowing the right questions to ask seniors can help you discuss life experiences, learn about your family history, and hear stories that will be remembered for generations to come. Read below for some idea starters and interesting topics to talk about with seniors that can lead to meaningful exchanges with your aging loved ones.
Growing up, I only saw my grandparents twice a year and would beg to hear their stories whenever I got the chance to be with them. My grandfather was candid and loved to laugh about his wild misadventures, like being stuck on top of a train car during the great Kansas City flood of 1951. Or how, when he was in his 20s, he drove Elvis Presley through Germany.
My grandmother was more demure, preferring to tell stories about my mother and uncles, but only when prompted. At 16, she was crowned the Watermelon Queen of Georgia and had her picture taken with the mayor in a dress she sewed herself.
I wouldn’t have known any of these unique stories had I not asked questions, and knowing what questions to ask elderly loved ones isn’t always easy. Here are some interesting topics to talk about with seniors and questions to help you bridge the generational gap with your older loved ones.
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Older generations have a wealth of information and stories to share. You can use these questions as a starting point for a conversation, but you don’t have to ask them all at once. Next time you visit an aging parent or grandparent, take the time to listen and connect. Whether you casually discuss topics while doing activities together or use the list as interview questions for aging family members, you’re sure to learn something new.
Write down the answers, record them on your phone, or just chat over a cup of coffee and share experiences. Learning more about your loved one’s life can lend you stories to tell for generations to come.
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