5 Conversation Starters to Use with Elderly Loved Ones

Five Conversation Starters

It is often hard to initiate or maintain conversations with elderly loved ones who are impacted by memory or word finding issues. If a conversation is to be had, it  often falls to the caregiver or family member. Read on for simple conversation starters to use with the elderly. 


  1. Talk about the weather. It’s something that one can see and feel. Take a moment to look outside or when possible be outside to allow for a more physical experience. 
  2. Talk about a meal that has just passed. Talking about food is something that many elderly like to do. Ask about favorite foods for specific meals. Describe what you ate for that same meal. 
  3. Bring a framed picture or an album and if possible allow the elderly loved one to hold the item. Talk about the details. See if memories come to the surface by asking or sharing:
    • Who is in the picture or took the picture
    • Where and when was the picture taken
  1. Have a conversation through a shared music experience. Experience listening to a favorite song or genre of music together.  Music is its own form of communication that often brings connections or memories. Often one memory can lead to a second memory and so on
  2. Narrate the room and be descriptive with your words. When there seems to be very little to have a conversation about, talk about what you see. Ask “yes” or “no” questions. When possible, ask “why” questions but be prepared for the answers “I don’t know” or “I forgot”.


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