The Laureate Way

Articles to Help Families and Older Adults Manage the Challenges of Aging

Have Meaningful Conversations During the Coronavirus

Have Meaningful Conversations During the Coronavirus (1)

The world is most certainly changing – not just day by day but moment by moment. Every one of us will be impacted, in varying degrees, by the events of these times. Adele Lund, former Director Community and Business Relations at Laureate Group Senior Communities, joined Paster Ethan from First Immanuel Lutheran Church to share tools on how to have a meaningful conversation with your loved one during the Coronavirus (COVID-19).


Our elders used to write letters. If they’re still able, encourage them to do that again. Or send them one of yours.  It is something familiar from their past at a time when they’re in uncertain territory during the Coronavirus.


Buy them a journal (or have them find paper at home) and encourage them to begin a gratitude journal. Writing in a journal prompts them to look for joy and God’s grace around them. You do the same and share your common/different perspectives on the next call.


Ask them about a memorable moment from their younger days. It will allow them to leave today’s challenges of COVID-19 behind and spend time in a place that was happy, when they had the world before them.

  • What was your favorite age? Why?
  • Tell me about a time when you were mischievous and got in trouble as a child.
  • Remind them of a time when you as the child got in trouble with them and share the laughter.

Bag of memories

What do these objects conjure up from your younger years?

  • Popsicle stick
  • Marble
  • Wooden spoon
  • Index card
  • Feather
  • Toothpick


If your loved one has cognitive impairment:

  • Ask questions that relate to something much farther back where they may still have memories (the last things learned are the first things lost).
  • Don’t correct any memory they share…they’re right…go with it and learn how they’re seeing it today.
  • If they’re not overly conversational, they’re likely getting more out of the experience than you realize. Share your memories of them, your time together.  Prepare to carry the conversation, knowing they’re probably enjoying it but you may never have proof of it.  Giving of yourself has to be enough.

Old Time Radio Drama

Does your loved one need entertainment during the Coronavirus? Suggest Wisconsin Public Radio. Saturday & Sunday nights, 8:00-11:00. They play many old radio shows from the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s such as:

  • Fibber McGee & Molly radio series
  • Lone Ranger radio series
  • Life of Riley radio series
  • Richard Diamond Private Detective radio series

Laureate Group Senior Communities

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of using our Portraits of the 20th Century book in many presentations to motivate individuals. Now, twenty years later, Laureate Group Senior Communities is bringing a new voice to this book!

Milwaukee’s legendary disc jockey, Bob Barry, brings these memories to life once again in Laureate Group’s new audio series, Laureate Legacy: A Walk Through the 20th Century.

To listen to the audio stories, or to learn more about Laureate Group’s 50th anniversary Portraits book, visit