Imagine what you could learn if you had 80 or 100 years to learn it. Even better, imagine what you can learn from someone who’s lived that 80 or 100 years, condensing the stories from all those years to the best parts, the highs and lows, the best advice. If you just take the time to do so, there’s so much you can learn. And listening to those senior stories do more than increase your wisdom, it can enhance the social wellness of the seniors in your life, too.

Struggling with how to ask for senior advice? Not sure how to connect across generations? Here are a couple tips to help inspire those senior stories.

Questions to Ask the Senior in Your Life

Getting to the wisdom of that 80 plus years of living is just a matter of starting the conversation. The conversation can start with a timely issue in life (sending a kid to college, budgeting, figuring out new math), or you could start with one of these questions.

1. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? Asking for senior advice.

We all get advice – solicited and unsolicited. Some of it is good and some of it is bad. Chances are, however, there’s advice you’ve gotten that you use pretty often, even use it as a guiding star in life. How about you open the conversation with someone you love by asking their best life advice.

When you’re talking to the octogenarian in your life, you can bet they’ve got some tried and true senior advice to share. Chances are they’ve got a story to go with it, and those senior stories can be priceless. In other words, you get advice and a relevant story. What’s stopping you?

Ask them to help you paint a picture in your head. What year were they given this advice? What spawned it? Were there social circumstances (like the civil rights movement or WWII stories) that made that advice more meaningful? How did he or she apply the advice in different times of their life? How did it make their life better? Think about how you can apply that same advice to your life and how it can help you or others around you as a way of connecting generations. You never know where the advice might lead you.