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The holidays are a time of family togetherness. Regardless of political, cultural, or religious ideology, caring people put aside their differences to spend time with their family and loved ones. 

One of the biggest concerns people have before holiday parties is making conversation with family members. If you have a relative who aggresively brings politics into every conversation, for example, you might feel uncomfortable talking with them. But since this isn't a politics blog, that's not what we're going to talk about today. 

Talking With Elderly Loved Ones

If you'll be spending some time with an elderly loved one in the next few weeks, you may be feeling some anxiety about it. Many elderly people become less communicative then they've been in the past, or maybe they've never been chatty. They may have the beginnings of dementia, or advanced hearing loss, making it hard to hold a conversation with them. 

Assuming your loved one is intellectually aware and able to talk, here are some great conversation starters to enhance your holidays—or any day:

  • Do you have a favorite book you would recommend to others? Why do you love it?
  • If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • What's your favorite song or singer, and why?
  • What's your favorite movie or show of all time, and why?
  • If time, money, strength, or ability were no object, what would you want to do?  
  • In your opinion, what's the best age to be?
  • How did you meet your spouse? 
  • How did you choose your children’s names?
  • What's the hardest thing you've ever done?
  • What’s the best advice your parents gave you? Did you listen to it?
  • Who's the person you admire most? Who's the person who inspires you the most?
  • What's your favorite joke?
  • What’s something in your life that you are really good at?  
  • Did you ever do anything really embarrassing? 
  • What moment in history do you most vividly remember?
  • What are you  the most proud of in your life?
  • Did you ever have an embarrassing moment you can laught about now?
  • What is the hardest lesson you have ever learned?
  • What piece of advice do you have for the next generation?
  • What do you hope people remember about you?

Asking these questions, listening to the responses, and thoughtfully responding is the greatest gift you can give to your elderly loved one. In addition, it will take care of those holiday worries about long awkward silences between you and your elderly loved one.

 

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