In one of my previous articles, I referenced the 40-70 Rule. Well now for those seniors who still want to be in the driver’s seat and want to initiate the conversation with the kids, there’s a reverse playbook, the 70-40 Rule. As the title implies, this is a guide to conversation starters for seniors and their boomer children, but from an elder perspective.
Here is practical help for seniors who have great relationships with their kids but at times feel awkward bringing up sensitive subjects. Obviously, this publication covers the same ground as its counterpart, but it approaches the subject from a senior’s point of view and with a special sensitivity to the concerns of seniors.
It’s an effective primer on how to raise aging issues, approach the conversation and come to a mutual understanding of how you want to live your life without creating uneasiness in the family that – if left unresolved – can cause regrets long after you’re gone. But of more immediate concern, good communication has many practical benefits, including proper monitoring of medication and early awareness of (and response to) any emerging issues.
I have a friend who told me you should never “should on yourself.” For example, I “should have” told the kids about my finances or “should have” been more candid about my health issues or “should have” disclosed that car accident, minor though it seemed. By taking the appropriate course, you can make life “should free!”
This guide was also prepared by Jake Harwood, Ph.D., national author and communication professor from the University of Arizona who is the former director of the school’s graduate program in gerontology, based on his research on communication and aging.