If you’re a carer for an elderly person, or an aged-care worker, you’re probably well versed in how to assist with physical things. But the health of an elderly person is affected by more than their physical needs – just like anyone - and social interaction is key to maintaining their emotional wellbeing.
Feeling socially isolated can make an aged person depressed and anxious and have trouble sleeping. So, it’s important to engage with them as often as you can. If you’re struggling to find things to talk about to get the ball rolling, here are some conversation starters for seniors to help you engage an older person in your care;
- Consider any special events or holidays coming up and start getting them to talk about their experiences with these in the past. Try asking them how they celebrated this particular holiday as a child, which foods they loved or hated, what their favourite part of Christmas Day/Easter Sunday/Passover etc was when they were young.
- Ask if they had any nicknames and what the origin of these were
- Ask them what their favourite subject was at school/university?
- Ask them questions about their career: Why did you decide to become a doctor? How did you come to start your business?
- Inquire about their travel experiences, what their favourite city to visit was, etc.
Sometimes a bit of prompting is all that’s necessary to open the door to a good chat – give some of these conversation starters for the elderly a go!
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