Start the Talk: The 40-70 Action Plan

August 17, 2015
The Action Plan can help guide communications about aging issues.

The Action Plan can help guide communications about aging issues.

Those who take care of elderly parents – or even more importantly, those who may one day be in the position to take care of elderly parents – need to know about The 40-70 Rule: An Action Plan for Successful Aging. (Click here to download the plan.)

The 40-70 Rule

Home Instead Senior Care launched the 40-70 Rule program in 2008. The title is based upon the fact that experts suggest that by age 40, each of us should have a conversation with a loved one who is around 70 years old about age-related issues that may arise  in coming years.

While this is an enormously important topic, it’s one that doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. Research indicates that some 80 million Americans avoid such important discussions and that 70% of family conversations about aging are the result of health emergencies, rather than advance planning.

On the one hand, this is understandable.  A Home Instead survey found that 54% of adult children characterized having important conversations with parents about aging issues in a negative manner; in other words, it’s a subject that, in many cases, arouses discomfort in both the adult child and the aging parent.

The Plan

The 40-70 Rule: An Action Plan for Successful Aging is a valuable tool that can be used to initiate and guide these important conversations. It provides expert advice that can help you make sure that important issues are discussed in a helpful manner. As stated in the introduction:

 “with the assistance of noted experts in aging, finances, health, end of life and communication, this resource will take the guesswork out of some of the issues that many families eventually face. Included are conversation tips and considerations for a variety of circumstances such as living alone, blended families, dementia and religious preferences – topics that so many families are dealing with in today’s world.”

 The Plan also includes links to additional helpful resources, a checklist for making and following the plan, and lists for noting important information that those taking care of elderly individuals will need to have on hand.

Having “the conversation” with an aging loved one is admittedly difficult, but it is also essential to ensuring that all concerned are on the same page about a loved one’s future and wishes. Using The 40-70 Rule: An Action Plan for Successful Aging is an excellent way to embark upon this voyage of discovery and planning.

Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

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