Can you give me some conversation starters to get the interview going?

Sometimes health and social care staff become so used to talking about problems that they lose the skill of asking about positive aspects of life and life beyond the service. So here are some conversation starters to trigger your discussions about the Life Domains. The first bullet focuses on the place and the second on the people. You will, of course, need to adapt your language to the person.

Arts and Culture

  • Do you go out to listen to music, watch a film or a see a play? (prompt for cinema, theatre, gallery, creative classes, museums, music venues)
  • Do you go with anyone or on your own? Do you meet anyone you know there? (prompt for friend, family, music lover, neighbours).

Employment

  • Do you have a job? Do you earn a wage?
  • Do you have a friend at work?
  • Is there anyone at work that you talk to about your weekend?
  • Do you go for a night out with anyone from work? (prompt for current and ex-colleagues, clients, customers).

Family and Neighbourhood

  • Is there anywhere you go to meet people near your home? (prompt for neighbour’s home, friend’s home, shop, library, pub, local school, college, hairdresser).
  • Do you meet up with any of your relatives?
  • Are you close to any of your neighbours? (prompt for relatives, partner, neighbour, local friend, parents, children, milkman, hairdresser.)

Identity 

  • Do you attend a religious or cultural centre? (prompt for church/temple/mosque, meditation group, cultural centre). Do you know any particular venues where people meet up who you have something in common with?
  • Do you meet up with other people who share your beliefs, politics or identity? Is there anyone from this place that talks to you before or after the meetings? (prompt for spiritual leader, group member, family, friends)

Learning

  • Do you go to college, university or some kind of class? (prompt for night class, adult education, library).
  • Do you go on your own or with someone else? Apart from the teacher, is there anyone you have met at the class and got to know? Do you sit with anyone at the coffee break or at lunch?

Online

  • Are you a member of any online communities that you regularly visit to play a game or catch up with news from other members? (prompt for Facebook, chatrooms, online gaming sites)
  • Have you got to know any individuals online that you regularly play online games, exchange emails or have met offline.

Services

  • Do you regularly go to hospital, a day centre or any other kind of social or health services place?
  • Do social services or health workers visit you? (prompt for GP, outpatient, counselling service, health centre,housing office, social services office or centre, alternative therapy centre, weight watchers).
  • Have you got to know other people who go there?
  • Does anyone else who uses this place ever get in touch to see how you are getting on?

Sports and Exercise

  • Do you go to a gym or somewhere like that to get some exercise?
  • Do you like to go and watch sport anywhere? (prompt for gym, swimming baths, snooker hall, bingo hall, soccer ground, community centre).
  • Do you go on your own or with someone else?
  • Have you got to know anyone there? (prompt for friends, team-mates, people who go to the same club or class).

Volunteering

  • Are you signed up as a volunteer anywhere? Do you go regularly? (prompt for charity shop, animal welfare, residential home, church, temple, mosque, community centre, school.)
  • Do you help anyone out regularly?
  • Do you know any of the other volunteers? Do you talk to anyone there about your weekend or go out for a coffee with anyone? (co-volunteer, customer)