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40-70 Rule® - Caught in the Middle

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Senior care professionals are often caught in the middle when families can't agree. That's where the "40/70" Rule® programs and emotional support services can help. This program is offered to develop open discussions between families when it comes to providing care to parents and other various senior needs. Older adults and their families often look to professionals like you for practical resources and tips to help them bridge the communication gap.

The issues of aging often leave family caregivers speechless. That's because all sorts of potentially difficult situations arise as adults age. What does a grown daughter say to her dad when he's hit a light pole with the car? How does an adult son ask his mom if she's taking her medications like she should? And how do siblings approach their parents about needing more help at home? These issues can challenge even the family where communication is free and open. And when that happens, it's easier not to talk at all, which can lead to unresolved issues. Senior care professionals like you may be caught in the middle of these discussions as well.

Talking sooner is better than waiting until a crisis has occurred. That's what the "40/70" Rule® is all about. This advice is designed to help adult children and their aging parents deal with those sensitive topics that often make conversations difficult. The idea is that if a family caregiver is 40, or their parents are 70, it's time to start talking – at least about certain senior topics.

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. The fact that many seniors may still be dealing with their grown sons or daughters as if they're children rather than adults makes these conversations particularly difficult. This informative website is designed to help Baby Boomers start even the most difficult conversations with their senior loved ones, before a crisis has occurred and even after one already has happened. Providing families with this valuable resource can help make your job easier as well and make you the go-to senior care expert in your community.

For tips on how families can get important conversations off the ground, visit our Conversations Starters page or Communications Tips for more information.

Last revised: June 27, 2011

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. January 31, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Posted by Janet Avery

    Need help in communicating with 45 yr old daughter


    • February 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Posted by Cat Koehler

      Hi Janet! Thanks for visiting our site. You may want to take a look at our 70/40 program. Here is a link to it: Let us know if you have any other questions. Cat Koehler Home Instead


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