Be wary. When you are talking to a Senior Citizen, he may not be "all there".
Today, for reasons I may discuuss in another entry, I forgot to wear my hearing aids when I went to breakfast. I was made aware of this by the muffled roar of the dining room and the far away sound of tablemate, Wilma's, voice. So I had to resort my "bag of tricks" to carry on a normal conversation.
1. Smile and agree. This will suffice at a response to 90% of morning conversation, no matter what the opening statement may be.
"Good Morning "-- smile and agree. That makes you pleasant company. If you could hear, you might snap back, "What's good about it." But a smile will see you through. Compared with your normal grumpiness, it may be unusual, but today you seem to be in a good mood.
"My back is killing me" -- smile and agree. That means you are sympathetic and understanding. It means, "Of course it does, all our backs hurt in the morning. We're in this together."
2. Anticipate. After years of breakfasts, I know what my tablemate is apt to say. She might say, "If Hillary runs for president, I will get on my scooter and go door to door campaigning for whomever runs against her." She would never say, "George Bush goofed again."
My best bet, be non-commital. No need to get into an argument when I am not equipped with ears. "He will see us through," will do. No need to clarify "he" or "see us through" what. There is always a crisis, war in middle east or searing hot weather, or a fuel shortage. I could mean Governor Swartzenegger or President Bush. Smile and agree and act reassuring.
3. Duck -- If you smile and agree to "my hair is a mess, today" you may receive a flying pancake as a response.