The Caregiver's Journey

Starting Conversation

What you might see:

  • Unable to start or is slow to start conversations 
  • Long pauses 
  • Problems explaining what he or she means 
  • Does not respond to another’s questions or comments

How you can help:

  • Help your service member/veteran start a conversation by asking a leading question such as, “What do you think about ... ?”
  • Encourage your service member/veteran to talk about topics of interest or familiar topics.
  • Ask open-ended questions (e.g., questions that cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no”), such as, “Tell me more about your day.”
  • Give your service member/veteran with TBI your full attention. 
  • Give your service member/veteran time to organize his or her thoughts.
  • Use redirection, if necessary (e.g., “So what do you think about ... ?”)
  • Reinforce all efforts to start a conversation. Show that you value what your service member/veteran has to contribute to conversations.