Communicating with your older relatives is integral to understanding your background and how people lived in the past. At some point, everyone should take the time to have an in-depth conversation with the older people in their life and talk specifically about their memories and how the world was when they were young.
When you can get around to it, there are several questions that you can think of on your own to ask your older relatives. However, it might be best to start with some common questions that might inspire some discussion. Below is a list of seven questions you can use to learn more about your older relatives. Get started by checking out all seven questions.
1. What is Your Earliest Memory?
The further into the past you go with this question, the more stunning the answer will be. Questioning your elderly relatives about the very reaches of their memory can put into perspective how close you are to historical events. Even young adults are only a generation or two away from the moon landing, Watergate, and the Challenger disaster, so imagine what even older relatives might be able to share.
2. What Do You Remember About Your Childhood?
Going a little further in time, broadly ask your older relatives about their childhoods and the memories they have kept from that time. Both historical and personal information from past generations can provide valuable insight regarding the differences and similarities to your own childhood. Learning about how the world has changed can give you a fresh perspective on the past.
3. What Was Your Favorite School Subject?
Questions about your older relatives’ interests will keep them more invested in the conversation. Depending on their answer to this question, you might learn where your own interest in certain subjects might have come from. On the other hand, you might find that your relative has a unique interest in something that you do not typically think about. As a follow-up, see if your relative has remained interested in this subject throughout their life.
4. What Kind of Pop Culture Did You Enjoy?
For similar reasons to the previous question, asking older relatives about their pop culture interests is a great way to get them talking. Rather than going with a question specifically about films, music or television shows, ask general questions about popular culture and allow your interviewee to lead the conversation. They can tell you about their favorite strand of media based on what comes to their mind.
5. What Was Your First Job?
Learning about an older relative’s first job can help you understand the jobs people held in the past. With each passing generation, jobs fade in and out of favor, so it might be interesting to know if your relative’s first jobs still exist at the time you ask them. It is possible that your relative did not hold a job at all and worked exclusively in the home, in which case a different discussion might begin.
6. What Was the Happiest Time of Your Life?
Rather than asking questions that imply that your relatives’ life is soon coming to an end, ask them about the good times as if they could technically still be happening. In addition, try not to ask questions about the bad times. Keep the mood light in your questions, and let your relative dictate that part of the conversation if the subject matter gets darker or more serious.
7. What Are You Most Proud Of?
If you want to ask a very existential question that is reflective, make sure it is framed as a positive thing. Ask your older relatives about their proudest moments or accomplishments rather than asking them about their regrets and failures. It can be rather emotional to reflect on a life’s worth of moments, so be patient as you wait for an answer.
Give Senior Health Care Solutions a Call
Senior Health Care Solutions can help you develop questions to ask seniors. When speaking with your older relatives, keep the conversation in their hands. You don’t even necessarily have to record the conversation. Sometimes, the best conversations are where you listen and learn. Use Senior Health Care Solutions’ resources to develop more questions for seniors and learn about our facilities.