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The "70-40" Rule®

The 70/40 Rule

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70-40 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. Bridging the communication gap between seniors and their boomer children. Rate your communication skills by taking this assessment.

Talking with Your (Adult) Kids

The communication gap that occurred when Boomer children were teenagers may repeat as seniors struggle to find the right words to talk to their kids about sensitive subjects.

Independence, money, health and romance can leave tongue-tied even senior parents who are close to their Boomer children. How do seniors tell their adult children they want to stay in their own home versus going to a nursing home? What does a widower say to the kids when he's dating a family friend? How does a widow tell her children that she has cancer? How do older adults explain that they're becoming forgetful without sending their family into a panic?

The "40-70" Rule® was all about talking sooner rather than waiting until a crisis had occurred; the idea being that if you're 40, or your parents are 70, it's time to start talking. The same is true of the "70-40" Rule®. If you're 70 and your kids are 40, it's time to start talking about some of the issues of concern to older adults as they age. And it's never too late to begin a meaningful conversation with the kids.

The "40-70" Rule® is based on original research conducted by Home Instead, which discovered that nearly one-third of adults in the U.S. have a major communication obstacle with their parents that stems from continuation of the parent-child role. That same dynamic--and others--can come into play as well for older adults dealing with their Boomer children. If you're a senior with adult children, the Web site can help you break the ice with your kids, before a crisis has occurred and even after one already has happened.

Please download the full "70-40" Rule® Booklet (PDF 600K).

Need help getting these important conversations off the ground? Visit our Conversations Starters page or Communications Tips for more information.

Last revised: December 8, 2010

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