Our elders want to be heard and respected for what they have to say. So I believe it is important to take the time to have two-way conversations. Sometimes I have to get things started, but often our residents want to talk about their past, their family and about current events. The question “What do you think about…?” can get things started and demonstrates that I am interested in what they have to say. Exchanges such as this build self-esteem. Questions about the person’s past can bring back fond memories and utilize long-term memory. And for me, I learn so much and am so grateful that our residents share their hard earned wisdom, fabulous stories and valuable experiences with me. One caveat. Stay away for topics that cause the person to get upset or angry.