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Hi - my fiancee & myself have recently moved in with FIL who is 88 & showing signs of dementia or just aging in general. At times he is forgetful etc - we will start some neurolgy testing etc in the next few weeks. MIL passed away very unexpectedly so we moved in to determine what needs to be addressed etc. I feel most times I am struggling to have a conversation with him - he is sweet as can be but is very, very quiet - I will take any suggestions on how to strike up a conversation. He is still somewhat active & we include him in almost everything. We have just turned 50 & this is all new to us. thanks!

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Ask him about things that happened long ago. Ask about his childhood or his start in the work world. This will keep my parents happy for an entire afternoon. I learn family history too.
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My 96 year old Dad moved in with us 4 years ago. We struggled for a year to have conversations. Really, it was me that carried the entire conversation, except when he answered questions. My DH was no help because he has dementia. When I finally gave up and let there be silence (or TV), the stress went away. Now it's good morning, how are you feeling, do you need any help, etc. Just let it go.
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Maybe talk about the weather, how cold it is, or look at family photos...I let my mom talk about whatever she wants
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Try a web search for "conversation starters", there are some really good lists out there.
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