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Let’s Chat – Conversation Starters for the Elderly

Although COVID-19 visitation restrictions have eased, life is still far from normal and connecting with our elderly loved ones is of utmost importance. Nevertheless, all of us have days when we just don’t have much to say and conversation can fall a little flat. To help you out we have compiled a list of conversation starters for the elderly to get your calls flying:

Book Club

Take your pick from the recommended reads at your local book store and then buy two copies; one for you and one for your loved one.
Audio books are a great alternative for those who may have trouble reading. At The Richardson, we have a poetry group and recently introduced a reading group for those with a love for the written word. Having someone close to your heart to discuss your latest read will be a highlight of the week for both of you.

Music for the Ages

Conduct a quick online search and listen to the popular music your loved one may have enjoyed during their youth. The next time you catch up ask a few questions about the songs and artists they remember and share those that you enjoyed. Jump on to Spotify, create a shared playlist and even include a few of your more contemporary favourites that you think might take their fancy. At The Richardson, we have a number of activities that use music to transport our residents back to their youth; including Masters of Music, Muso’s and Opera.
Listening to the music of your past and learning to appreciate new sounds is a very happy way to stay mentally active.

Film Critic

With so many on-demand streaming options these days, there is something for everyone. Including something that you and your elder can enjoy and debate together. Just make sure the relevant app has been downloaded on their tablet and the next time you FaceTime you’ll have whole episodes to dissect. Residents at The Richardson enjoy an extensive array of on-demand movies and Foxtel to choose from in their rooms.

Check out our list of popular shows below:

• ABC i-View, Mystery Road: Set in the Australian outback, Mystery Road is the who-dunnit detective story at its best. Seasons 1 and 2 both available.

• SBS On-Demand, The Hunting: Starring Asher Keddie and Richard Roxburgh this 4-part mini-series follows the lives of four teenagers, their teachers and their families in the aftermath of a photo scandal.

• Foxtel, Succession: Loosely based on the Murdoch empire Succession tracks the lives of the Roy family as they contemplate their future once their aging father (Brian Cox) begins to step back from the media and entertainment conglomerate they control.

• Netflix, The Crown: It might not be non-fiction, but this drama follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.

• ABC iView, The Moody’s: With each episode set at Christmas time this Australian comedy about Dan moody and his unsentimental family will have you and your loved one laughing out loud and matching up members of your own extended family to those on screen.

At The Richardson, we are so fortunate to have our own theatre room where we stream all kinds of wonderful and interesting videos. COVID-19 may have stopped us heading out and about, but our minds have been free to travel the world to the best countries, art centres, concerts and much more.

Virtual Garden

The senior members of our family are a wealth of knowledge and usually know a thing or two about gardening. Our residents love tending to the herbs and vegetables they have planted in their Richardson garden and Chef enjoys using the fresh produce in his dishes.

Ask your loved one what you should be planting at this time of year, the best place in your garden to get digging and how to prepare the soil. Then, over the coming weeks and months take the video call out of your house and into the garden to watch your plants grow together.

If you’ve chosen vegetables or herbs you’ll have a perfect gift for them come the end of winter. If your loved one doesn’t have a green thumb, you can get all your expert advice here and take them on the gardening journey with you.

It isn’t rocket science, but sometimes putting a bit of thought and consideration into how you connect with a loved one can make a huge difference to their day… and to yours.

If you require support or wish to speak to someone about your situation or that of a loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us on (08) 9381 2800.

Eldery resident watering the gardens at The Richardson