20 Questions to Ask Your Aging Loved Ones This Month


Every day, our Krause Funeral Homes team helps families in the Milwaukee area plan funerals and memorial services for their loved ones. One sentiment we often hear – especially from those who have lost a parent or grandparent – is this: “I spent all that time with them over the years, but I’m realizing there’s still so much I don’t know!”

Maybe a son or daughter is left wondering what their mother was like when she was growing up. Maybe grandchildren wish they knew more about the experiences that shaped their grandparents’ lives. Who were their greatest influences? What were their happiest memories?

We’ve compiled a list of questions to help you learn more about your aging loved ones, or as a springboard for information to share about yourself with those around you. Some of these questions are personal in nature; others are designed to help with planning down the road. All of them will serve to open up conversations and help you gain new perspective on some of the most significant people in your life.

  1. What are some of your earliest memories?
  2. What toys did you enjoy most as a child?
  3. Did you have any pets growing up?
  4. What world events do you remember most clearly? Where were you when they occurred?
  5. What was school like for you?
  6. Describe any friendships you had during your youth.
  7. How did your family celebrate different holidays?
  8. If you served in the military, how did that shape you and affect your path in life?
  9. Who influenced you the most and what did they say or do that made an impact?
  10. What relationship advice would you give to the rest of the family?
  11. What were your favorite ways to have fun as a child and teen?
  12. What are a few words you would use to describe yourself? Why these words?
  13. Have you talked about your end-of-life wishes with anyone, including your ideal living situation and the location of important paperwork?
  14. What elements do you want included at your funeral? Things like songs or readings or charities you would like to support through financial gifts?
  15. Do you envision a traditional religious funeral officiated by a pastor or priest, or something less traditional led by a funeral director or certified life celebrant?
  16. Do you prefer burial or cremation?
  17. Do you have a final resting place in mind?
  18. If you prefer cremation, do you have an opinion on what to do with the cremated remains?
  19. Do you want a reception after the funeral, perhaps a meal including wine and beer at one of Krause Funeral Home’s four locations?
  20. What do you most want to be remembered for?

We’ve talked with too many families over the years who put off – or altogether avoided – bringing up these topics with their aging loved ones. Take it from us: Having these discussions now is worth it! The best time to start is when a loved one is still able to share their thoughts and opinions. If you have questions along the way, remember that our caring staff is here for you when you need us. Don’t hesitate to reach out anytime.

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