When to have “the talk” with your parents

Less than half (45%) of adult children have had conversations about ageing issues with their senior parents, according to a survey conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care network in Ireland.

The network said that families weren’t talking and the research suggested it was because it was difficult. Sixty six per cent of adult children surveyed described their critical conversations with parents as uncomfortable and emotional, with some upset.

Fifty per cent of adult children stated that they had waited until a health crisis to have important conversations about living choices, driving, financial choices, health and end of life.

The most difficult conversation for families to discuss was around living choices. Sixty six per cent of adult children and 41% of senior parents said it was most difficult to discuss the parent’s need to move away from the home in the event of a change in physical or mental health.

Home Instead Senior Care Network said that given the severe consequences of waiting too long to have this critical conversation, if parents were approaching 70 and their children were approaching 40, they should have “the talk” about critical ageing issues – what’s known as the “40-70 Rule.”

“Too often, conversations about important senior care issues are taking place in a hospital, after a health emergency has occurred. We’re hoping to change that,” says Ed Murphy, CEO and Founder of Home Instead Senior Care in Ireland.

Home Instead Senior Care completed 400 online interviews in Ireland with adults aged 40 – 64 with at least one parent age 65 and older, and 277 online  interviews in Ireland with seniors age 65 and older.