Valentine Conversation Starters for Loved Ones With Dementia

It can be a challenge to connect with a loved one suffering from dementia. Holidays can be fruitful opportunities to help them reminisce about their past, bringing forth memories that would otherwise be lost forever. Below is a collection of questions to ask your loved one to help them remember fond moments from their past. Whether you are a family member or a caregiver, the opportunity to help them experience the joy and self-worth of remembering a cherished moment is well worth the time spent.

Hopefully the questions below will prompt a memory, instigate a conversation, or offer a moment in which you can connect with your loved one. Just keep in mind that they may not follow your script. Go with their flow. In some cases memories of past relationships may be hard for them to bear. If they ask about someone who is no longer living, do not remind them that they died; rather ask them about their memories of the person. If you feel resistance to questions about Valentine's Day, switch to questions about other winter activities. Others to consider are sleigh rides, playing in the snow, building a snowman, ice skating, favorite winter food and drinks, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays. Also consider recording these reminiscences for future generations, with the approval of the family or elder care advisor.

A Dozen Valentine's Questions to Spur Memories

1. When you were growing up did you exchange Valentines?

2. Who was your first childhood honey?

3. Did you ever have a crush on a teacher?

4. Do you remember the first time you kissed?

5. Who was your first date?

6. Did you ever have a crush on a movie star? If so who?

7. When you went on dates as a teenager where did you go?

8. What is your favorite romantic movie?

9. What is your favorite love song?

10. How did you propose marriage… or how were you proposed to?

11. What was the most romantic thing about your wedding?

12. What do you think is the most romantic place on earth?

Two more Boomerater Valentine's articles you may find helpful

- Loving gifts for the ones you love

- A Valentine's trivia quiz to warm your heart and test your memory (This quiz is geared to those over 50, offering many other topics to discuss with your loved one)