27 Best Senior Conversation Starters to Learn From Their Wisdom

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Age ain't nothing but a number. Just because there are several decades in between you and the senior citizen in your life doesn't mean the two of you can't find common ground and build a strong relationship. These senior conversation starters will get the beloved elderly people in your life talking so that bonds can be built and strengthened.

Senior Conversation Starters Based on Their Childhood Years

Chances are the senior in your life grew up a lot different from how you did. It's fascinating to learn about how childhood looked many decades ago. Spark conversations with seniors about what the world looked like during their younger years? What did a day in the life of Grandpa at age five look like?

  • What was the town you grew up in like?
  • When you were a child, what games did you and your friends play?
  • What was your family like? (Extension questions might include: What did your parents do for a living? Who was your most mischievous sibling? Who was the smartest one?)
  • What rules did you have in your home growing up?
  • What did school look like for you when you were a child?
  • Who were some of your best friends in childhood? What were they like?
  • Where did you and your family vacation at when you were a child?
  • What were some popular fashion trends when you were a teenager?
  • Where did you spend your holidays when you were younger? Did you have special traditions?

Major Events That They Have Lived Through

The world is forever changing, and many major world events are ones that most people only learn about through books. Some seniors experienced major events firsthand. They lived through them in real-time. Learn about significant historical events from the seniors who were front and center for them. Furthermore, ask them about major personal events, including time spent in the military, meeting their spouse, or moves that they made.

  • Do you remember living through wars? (Vietnam, Korean War) Did you know anyone who went and served the country?
  • Do you recall when a man first walked on the moon? Did you watch it? Where were you when it happened?
  • Which moment in history is most substantial in your memory?
  • Where did you meet your spouse?
  • Where are some of the places you have lived? Which were your favorites and why?
  • What were some of the jobs that you had in your lifetime?
  • Technology has changed throughout your lifetime? What are some of the greatest inventions you have witnessed?

Self-Concept

How does the senior in your life view themselves? What values, morals, and ideals do they hold to? Learn about what is important to them. It may surprise you to discover that even with years and years in between you and your older loved one, you have much in common when it comes to self-concept and identity.

  • What was one of the very best days of your life?
  • What was the best gift that you ever received?
  • Growing up, who was your role model, idol, or inspiration?
  • What was a dream you had when you were a kid?
  • Of all your accomplishments, which are you most proud of?

Favorite Things

What does the special senior in your life enjoy? Ask about their favorite things and activities? Dive deep with these questions to create a clear picture of who your special senior truly is.

  • What is your favorite book?
  • Growing up, what was your favorite dinner meal that your parents made?
  • Did you have a favorite toy when you were little?
  • What was the best book you ever read?
  • Do you have a favorite singer?
  • What is your favorite saying?

The Importance of Connecting With Seniors

Having a relationship with elderly people is beneficial to both you and them. For youth, continuing an intergenerational relationship can help one understand the aging process, consider the needs of people outside of themselves, and provide first-hand accounts of life and world events to younger generations. For seniors, connecting with youth can lessen feelings of isolation, provide a sense of purpose, and even minimize feelings of depression.

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27 Best Senior Conversation Starters to Learn From Their Wisdom