Talking to Your Senior Parents About the Important Issues


Nebraska-based Home Instead Senior Care hasdeveloped a program that has become the gold standard for prompting positiveconversations between Baby Boomers and their parents.

The program, called the 40-70 Rule, encourages adultchildren to talk to parents before an accident or emergency. The concept issimple - if the adult child is 40 or the aging parent is 70, it's time to starttalking about driving and other sensitive aging issues.

Research shows that many Boomers avoid talking to theirparents about issues such as driving because they don't want to impede on theirparents' independence.

Most adult children don't discuss sensitive topicswith their aging parents, like driving, until an emergency happens. Forexample, many times an incident (like a car crash) is the trigger for theconversation. With the 40-70 Rule, the program is removing the crisis trigger andinstead saying if you are 40 or your parents are 70 it's time to begin theconversation about driving and other issues that come with aging.

LB 351 was introduced after at least one lawmakerheard from constituents who had a difficult time talking to their aging lovedones about driving. That's not surprising, because our research shows that for30 percent of adult children -- that's the most difficult topic to address with theiraging parents.

Nearly one-third of adults have communicationbreakdowns with their senior parents because they feel their parents still viewthem as a child -- it's clearly the obstacle that prevents many necessaryconversations.

When talking to senior loved ones about driving,offer solutions that allow the maximum amount of independence. Seek out publictransportation options and enlist the help of family members, friends, neighborsor professional caregivers to make sure they can still get out and about.

More information can be found at For more information about Home Instead Senior Care, go to their website.