Asking a question is one of the easiest ways to start a conversation. According to an article by Showdowbox Xpress called Conversation Starters for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients one should: “Start simple. A very basic conversation starter is, “Hello, how are you?” Try incorporating the person’s name into the greeting. “Good morning, Joan. How are you feeling?” This helps orient the person and gets his or her attention. When speaking – talk in a soft, friendly tone, use short, direct sentences, smile and make eye contact.” For others almost any generic question can serve as a catalyst to a conversation.
Here are some fun questions for starting a conversation with your Kin:
- What is something that is popular now that annoys you?
- What was your favorite vacation?
- What were you really into as a kid?
- Who in your life brings you the most joy?
- Who was your best friend in elementary school?
- What is your favorite season? Why?
Where and when was the most amazing sunset you have ever seen?
Your role as a BeFriender volunteer is to be a listening presence. Let the Kin take the conversation where they want it to go. Don’t worry about getting an answer to your question so much as using the question to get to know your Kin.