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Conversation Starter Guides

Download these easy-to-read guides from Home Instead 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. Topics include independence, health, end-of-life issues and even romance. These guides also features conversation tips for both seniors and their family caregivers. A section on advance directives, designed with the assistance of Jo Myers, author and advance planning expert, will help ensure that families are prepared for the inevitable.

Download the full
"40-70" Rule® Booklet

(PDF 800K)
Download the full
"70-40" Rule® Booklet
(PDF 600K)


  • 40/70 Conversation Topics
    The time to start talking with senior parents is sooner rather than later, when a crisis has occurred. But how do you bring up sensitive subjects? These tips and common senior situations are just what you need to get started.
  • 70/40 Conversation Topics
    Even seniors who have great relationships with their children can be tongue-tied when it comes to starting conversations about certain sensitive subjects. These tips as well as examples of how to get the conversation going can help.
  • Want to know how prepared you are to have these important conversations?
    Take our 40-70 Rule®: Communication Assessment or seniors, take our 70-40 Rule®: Communication Assessment to find out.
Last revised: December 8, 2010

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. December 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Posted by Eugene Weaver

    Can you e mail me a copy of the 40/70 rule? We are having a winter Bible School class (actually) 4 classes on Necessary Conversations. These very subjects. I plan to do the teaching. I think you have some good material. Eugene Weaver


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