6 Conversations to Have with Your Aging Parents

This image is no longer available


Growing older forces change. And that change often impacts areas of life such as living choices, driving, relationships and dating, financial choices, health and end of life.

What if your parents could no longer remain at home without help? What will you do if you have to tell Dad he cannot drive safely anymore? Making decisions, identifying choices and conveying wishes are an important part of the road ahead.

Unfortunately, many families put off discussing these topics and making decisions until they’re in crisis mode. That’s why Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network, developed a public education program called the 40-70 Rule®: An Action Plan for Successful AgingSM, to encourage families to intentionally discuss aging-related issues when the adult children are approaching age 40 and the parents are approaching age 70.

At the heart of this program is the 40-70 Rule: An Action Plan for Successful Aging Interactive Conversation Tree. This interactive guide will walk you through the following topics and offer helpful resources relevant to your situation:

  1. Living Choices– Where would your parents like to live as they age? Will they stay at home or live in a care facility? Who would they call in the event of an emergency? These basic questions will ensure that your family is on the same page about your loved ones’ future living preferences.
  1. Finances – Have your parents calculated the cost involved with meeting their retirement wishes? Have they met with a financial advisor to determine how much they will likely need to cover long-term health care expenses? Calculating the cost now and planning ahead financially can help yield greater peace of mind as they move forward.
  1. Health Have your parents outlined their goals for a healthy lifestyle as they age? Have they factored their current diet into this equation? Are they up to date on medical checks and health screenings? Addressing health concerns early can be a valuable, preventative tool in successful aging.
  1. End of Life Care Wishes– Many families are not having this important conversation. Without it, they cannot gain a clear understanding of what their parents would like to accomplish before they die or where they would like to end their life. Discussing this difficult topic now will help ensure that the family has a unified plan and advanced directives in place moving forward.
  1. Driving – Most seniors dread the idea of losing the independence associated with driving. Yet families must be able to address their concerns about driving abilities, not only for the safety of their senior parent but for all with whom they share the road. While the driving topic can often be an emotional one, this section provides tips to navigate those emotions and discuss options for independence without a license.
  1. Relationships and Dating– Perhaps Dad passed away and Mom has been spending a lot of time with an older gentleman friend. This can create family awkwardness if intentions aren’t clearly communicated. It’s important to talk about the nature of your parents’ relationships and their wishes for companionship as they age.


Download the 40-70 Rule: An Action Plan for Successful Aging  to work through with your parents, or explore the additional program resources available around these topics  so your parents have the tools they need to create a successful plan for aging.