I think this was a great way to get valuable information from your interviewees. Often, by asking too specific of a question, it is easy for one to seem cornered into an answer. I believe the responses you got were honest and open -- which will inevitably lead to better ideas and implementation. Great work!
Hi! I too have had the privilege of working with the elderly, and I completely agree. It seems that these men and women have so many experiences to share, and they often just need an opportunity to share it. Perhaps there could be a formal "story-telling" day in order to give these people a voice to share their life's happenings. Just an idea!