Call it human nature, but nothing can boost spirits and bring out smiles quite like sincere flattery, no matter what your age!  Compliments will make a senior feel special, unique, needed and appreciated, and there are clear ways for you to focus your words so that your praise will have the most impact.

The very best, meaningful compliments for seniors will:

  • Help support positive feelings about their self-identity
  • Highlight that they are useful and an important part of your life and/or the lives of others
  • Make them feel motivated

Here are a few popular compliments to share:

“I’m so impressed – you’re great with a computer/smartphone!”

Technology is part of the lives of seniors everywhere, especially when it comes to care, safety and health management. However, smartphones, laptops and video game consoles have nudged their way into the lives of senior citizens worldwide for fun and recreation, too! If you have a senior in your life that has been learning to be tech-savvy, complementing their growing skills can be a huge boost to their self-esteem.

“I could use your expert advice on _____.”

Feeling useful is important for seniors, especially if physical abilities are limited. Before retirement, they had many projects, responsibilities and careers that required their skill and expertise. Don’t overcomplicate this one, you don’t want to put too much pressure on a senior to be “right”. The idea is that you’re including them, acknowledging their experience, and (most importantly) inviting them to share it with you.

“Have you always had this amazing sense of style?”

Everyone loves to feel put together! You can put a little bounce in the step of any senior if you can point out that their style (an important aspect of their self-care) is on point. Seniors have watched fashion evolve over many decades, so whether they are trying new trends, or maintaining a classic wardrobe, you can make the compliment work double duty by framing it as a question that invites them to remember compliments they have received over the course of their lives. And who knows – they may shock you with a revelation that they invented a wacky trend in their youth!

“I love spending time with you.”

This one requires no explanation or specific motivation. Just letting a senior in your life know that simply spending time with them is enough to make you feel happy is a special way to reinforce how important and valued they are, simply for their company.

The art of delivering compliments is worth cultivating to bring joy to anyone in your life. With seniors, it’s not much different. Take the time to use your words in a way that invites further conversation, motivates them and reinforces their special identity.

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