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As promised here is a new set of questions.  The focus this week is on Birth Order.  How about reaching out to that relative or friend, and asking these questions.?  What number child are you?? HAVE FUN!!

Birth Order 
 How many brothers and sisters do you have? Which number child are you? 
 1)  How did you feel about growing up in a large family?

 2)  How did you feel about growing up in a small family?

 3)  In what ways did your parents treat older children differently than younger children? How did you feel about that?

 4)  Which sibling caused you the most grief?

 5)  To which sibling were you closest?

 6)  How much competitiveness existed between siblings? How did this affect future relationships?
7)  Which of your siblings got the most attention? As a child? As an adult?

 8)  Was an adoption story part of your growing up years?

 9)  What impact did a special needs child have on the family?  

Dear Everyone impacted by COVID 19,

It is shocking to realize how quickly the world as we know it has turned upside down.  As Richard Rohr so aptly writes, “Each of us has had our lives and communities disrupted.” During these days of social distancing and isolation, we are all asking ourselves, how best to use our time.

 With families sticking close to home and many senior centers in lockdown, is there a positive alternative to a steady diet of television?  Challenges produce opportunities.  Perhaps this is an opportunity to have quality conversations with those we care about. Perhaps this time will not be spent face to face, but it will occur over the phone. 

Let’s Keep Social Distancing from becoming Social Isolation…
We can help!

As a way to bring some joy to what are seemingly endless hours of alone time, we have decided to share questions from our book If Only You Would Ask. Each week we will post a new set of questions designed to promote interesting, enjoyable conversations.  We hope that these questions will provide a healthy distraction to the news and lead to a discussion of topics that may not have been talked about or thought about for years.

Are you ready? Here we go…

HAVE FUN!! Love, Joan and Eileen

Childhood Memories 
 What do you remember about your grade school years? 
1)  How did you get to school? Did you carry a lunch?
2)  Who was your favorite elementary school teacher? 
3)  What did you do during recess?
4)  Was there a bully in your school
5) Do you still maintain a friendship with a grade school friend?
6)  As an elementary age student, what obstacles did you face? 
7)  What was a favorite song or game you remember? 
8)  Were your parents involved as leaders or coaches in your activities? 
9)  What are some happy memories from your grade school years?

For more about our story, visit

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at the Recognition Luncheon for Ombudsman Volunteers as part of the Minnesota Age and Disabilities Odyssey Conference in Duluth, Minnesota. Ombudsmen and volunteers work with individuals and their families to ensure the health, safety and WELL-BEING of residents in long-term care facilities. I am pleased to share that the 30 volunteers recognized for their many hours of service, were also gifted with a copy of If Only You Would Ask. What a great feeling to know that our book is being used by this organization to bring joy to many!! Thank you Office of Ombudson Long-Term Care!! Joan Bachman

We are thrilled that our book will now be available to all those who follow AlzAuthors. Here is the link:

Just to let you know I got some good feed back on your book at our Stephen Minister’s meeting last night. Two people mentioned that they had learned so much about their care-receiver at their recent funerals and wished they had had your book and asked them some of the questions before they passed. Also another lady said your book will be going on her coffee table on Thanksgiving in hopes that her family will ask her some of the questions!
We hope you, John and your spunky mother are all doing well.

We are happy to report that a number of volunteer organizations have written grants to cover the cost of ordering a copy of If Only You Would Ask for all of their volunteers.  This book makes a great gift for anyone who spends time with the elderly.  Substantial discounts are available for orders of over 50 books.  The more you order, the greater the discount!

Contact Joan Bachman at or 507-358-5792 for details.

Mom and I will be presenting at the upcoming National Caregiving Conference in Chicago, November 8-11.  We have entered If Only You Would Ask in the Caregiving Technology and Product Pitch Event. Voting has opened! We would appreciate your support!

NCC18 Presenters: Eileen Opatz Berger and Joan Berger Bachman

Join Eileen and Joan for their session during our Third Annual National Caregiving Conference:

If Only You Would Ask: A Guide to Spending Quality Time with the Elderly on Friday at 5 p.m.
When visiting or caring for an elderly relative or friend, are you often at a loss for what to talk about? After the initial pleasantries, do the minutes/hours drag on? You may very well love this person, but find yourself struggling to carry on a conversation. Moments of silence seem endless. If Only You Would Ask: A Guide to Spending Quality Time with the Elderly transforms this situation!

Five years in the making, If Only You Would Ask is a conversational manual, a resource, and a tool for those who spend time with and care for the elderly. No longer will you find yourself struggling to think of something interesting to talk about. With 42 topics and over 400 questions, If Only You Would Ask provides a framework for tapping into memories that may not have been thought about or talked about for years. You and the person you are visiting care for will both enjoy your time together. In fact, you will look forward to your next get together. conversation.

Everyone has stories to share, if only we ask the right questions! For more information visit our website at

To learn more about Joan, watch our video discussion about finding our best, which aired as part for our Virtual Caregiving Summit in May.

~ NCC18 Registration ~ NCC18 Virtual Registration ~ NCC18 In-Person Registration(Chicago) ~ NCC18 Volunteer Registration ~
~ Testimonials ~ NCC18 CEUs ~ NCC18 Costs ~

We are so grateful to the following sponsors for making our conference possible:

We enjoyed a wonderful day at Barnes and Noble talking about our book!  Awards for farthest distance traveled to get a signed copy go to Kieu Vu from Madison, Wisconsin, Margaret Prugh from Ham Lake and Janewit Wangboonsin from Minneapolis!  We so appreciated everyone who stopped by to offer support and good wishes!

I'm pleased to announce that If Only You Would Ask will be featured this coming weekend, Saturday, May 5th, at Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Rochester!  We'll be there ready to sign books between 11:00 and 3:00!  Could be the perfect Mother's Day Gift!  Hope to see a crowd!!