Conversations with Grandpa and Some

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Use all your manners. When a friend comes over, be sure to introduce your friend to your Grandpa. Stay and talk for a little while before you run off and play video games. Speak clearly. Be willing to repeat some of your words. People lose some hearing as they age. Look directly at your Grandpa when you speak to him. That makes it easier for him to hear you and you don't want him to have to keep asking you what you said. People like to engage in conversation and your Grandpa is no different. He wants to know that you are thinking about them and that you want to know what they think.

Maybe you are not sure what to say.

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If so, then ask questions. Ask about what life was like for your grandfather in the past. Does he have brothers and sisters? If so, surely he has some good stories to tell. Ask if he remembers some funny things that happened in school. Ask what his first job was. Ask him to tell you about a time he was scared. Ask what foods he liked as a child. See if you can figure out how your grandfather communicated with friends before the internet was even invented.

Find out if he remembers what life was like before cell phones.

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There are all kinds of things to talk about. Write some notes. Later you will not remember the stories your Grandpa has told you, so take the opportunity now to write a few of those stories down in a journal. Better yet, videotape a conversation with your Grandpa. Then you will have the information in his words. Love him with all of your heart. Go over and sit next to him when he is reading a book. Bring a book of your own and sit and read together. Try to join in with things he likes to do.

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If he likes to go fishing, ask if you can go along. If he likes to watch golf, try to figure out the rules and the players so that you can sit and enjoy the game with him once in a while. Notice what he likes to eat, and bring him some of his favorite foods. Find out what he likes to listen to on the radio,and put that station on. Try to get him to go for a walk with you.

Exercise will do you both a lot of good. Tomorrow, next week, in 20 years, things will be different and you may not have the opportunity any longer. You never know when your Grandpa will be gone.

Help him. Maybe he is quite old and doesn't have as much energy as you. It won't hurt you if you bring him a glass of water or help him to wash his car.

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Or go ahead and wash his car for him! Teach him how to use the computer. It may seem like second nature to you, but he is probably of the age where people are on the other side of the digital divide. Maybe you can help him set up a Google Plus account or something, so you can communicate with him when you are not together. Use your common sense.

If you have common sense then you will probably figure out the rest yourself.

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  • Take pictures of your Grandpa. Hand your phone to someone else and ask them to take pictures of the two of you together. And brace yourself , some of these relatives may be considered old. Dare I say, ancient.

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    For best results, avert your gaze from your phone and place it directly into the eyes of the human you are attempting communication with. Though it may be tempting to shout at the old person at a painful decibel, try your best to resist. Just enunciate clearly and speak at a reasonable level and that should do it. Side note: With that kind of lung capacity, you may need to start swimming again.

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    Like you, it actually makes an older person feel good to be useful. No, you cannot assume the person sitting beside the family octogenarian is the caretaker. When talking to the elderly person, believe it or not, you can actually speak directly to him or her, not go through another younger person to do so. Please use them with caution and remember that in an emergency, you can always compliment the elderly individual on that vintage polyester suit.