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The "40-70" Rule®

Bridging the communication gap between adult children and their senior loved ones.


Communication Obstacles

What are the most difficult topics to discuss? Learn what people responded during a survey and see if you have discussed the same topics with your loved one.


40/70 Communication Tips

Review these tips to help start those difficult conversations; Seven Tips to Help Boomer Children Communicate With Their Aging Parents

Middle-aged woman talking to her mom about her care needs.

Identifying Mom’s Needs Key to Reaching Family Consensus

The signs all point to trouble for Mom. You and your siblings are concerned, but not sure how to proceed, especially because your mother is reluctant to leave her longtime home. Leaving home, though, is only one option, and the least popular among older adults, many of whom just need a little help around the house.


Conversation Starter Guides

Download these easy-to-read guides from Home Instead Senior Care and author and communications expert Dr. Jake Harwood. These guides include common family situations and sensitive circumstances that often pose communication problems for both older adults and their children or loved ones.


40-70 Rule®: Executive Summary

Independent research by Home Instead Senior Care® of 1000 U.S and 500 Canadian Baby Boomers provided new insights into the dynamics of the conversations which do — and do not — take place between Boomers and their aging parents. This first-of-its-kind study revealed obstacles to communication and solutions that would substantially improve communication and the quality of life for both generations.


Life Legacies

Aside from a will (and finding it), there is much information needed to prepare for leaving a lasting legacy. It is important is discuss the wishes of the senior and make sure that everything is in order before they pass. This section will help you prepare the proper Life Legacy for your senior.


40/70 Rule®: Communication Assessment

An informational tool has been developed by Home Instead Senior Care for adults who have parents over the age of 70. We invite you to complete this 15-question quiz to determine the quality of your parental conversations.


40-70 Rule®: Additional Resources

These additional resources where you may find helpful information regarding communicating with your senior parent or loved one.


40/70 Conversation Topics

Some topics are difficult for adult children to discuss with their aging parents, but starting the conversation off right can make things a little easier. Here are some scenarios that address common topics from the adult son or daughter's perspective. Each is backed by research conducted in the U.S. for Home Instead Senior Care with tips developed in cooperation with Jake Harwood, Ph.D., communication professor author, and former director of the Graduate Program in Gerontology at the University of Arizona.

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  • 40-70 Rule® programs and emotional support services are offered to develop open discussions between families relating to providing care to parents and other various senior topics. Find tips to help bridge the communication gap between adult children and their senior loved ones.

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