“It’s the little things that count”
Short conversations are sometimes easier…
for people with dementia than longer conversations. Short conversations can leave us with a feeling of love and acceptance when conveyed with a gentle and loving tone and matched with like facial expressions and gestures.
Choose conversations that are familiar
Conversations that we are familiar with, that maybe we have had before may be easier to answer to for some people.
Here are 10 topics of conversation to have with an older family member or friend that take a minute or less.
Make a compliment about their appearance or something in their home. Compliments make us all feel good about ourselves and helps to reaffirm the choices we make.
Recite a saying or quote. Many sayings and quotes become quite familiar to people over the years like “Roses are red, violets are blue, …”. Many years ago I worked with an elderly woman who would respond to “How are you?” by saying, “Fit as a fiddle and ready for love” which is actually from a song of the same name written by Arthur Freed, Al Hoffman, and Al Goodhart.
“Home is where the heart is”
The weather is always a topic for conversation as it always seems to be changing somewhere.
Talk about current events such as today’s date, what “lighter” things might be happening in the world, holidays that might be coming up, or things taking place in your family or community.
Personal greetings like “Good Morning”, “How are you?”, “Have you had a good day?”, “I love you”, and “You make me smile” are wonderful conversation starters.
Read someone’s mail to them if needed.
Discuss what is on TV that might be of interest.
Talk about what family, friends, or neighbors might be doing that your loved one may have visited with. Talk about what is new with someone else.
Take a selfie with your loved one, then comment on it.
Plan a snack or meal together. When you’re eating together talk about how the meal tastes and what ingredients might be in it.