OMAHA, Neb., Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 80 million Americans are currently avoiding the end-of-life discussion with their aging parents. It's a conversation about end-of-life wishes that can save families years of heartache, bickering and even legal issues. Yet, millions are actively avoiding it, according to a Marist survey1 conducted for Home Instead, Inc. Citing being uncomfortable2 and procrastination3 as the top two reasons they aren't having these conversations, survey respondents also indicated fear their families could have problems in the future due to lack of communication about topics such as finances and health.4 Based on the survey results, Home Instead, Inc. gathered renowned experts to help make this potentially difficult conversation easier for families and today released the "40-70 Rule®" program, including An Action Plan for Successful AgingSM.
Given the severe consequences of waiting too long to have this critical conversation, if your parents are approaching 70 and you are approaching 40, you should have "the talk" about critical aging issues. It's what's known as the "40-70 Rule." The Home Instead Senior Care network is committed to raising awareness of this prime talking time and taking the conversation further by encouraging individuals and families to document their wishes. Resources, including videos, conversation starters and aging plans, are now available at 4070Talk.com to help jump-start that dialogue.
"Too often, conversations about end-of-life plans are taking place in a hospital, after a health emergency has occurred. We're hoping to change that," says Molly Carpenter, Caregiver Advocate at Home Instead, Inc. "The '40-70 Rule' resources from the Home Instead Senior Care network are free and provide the nudge many families need to start the conversation in an open, non-threatening environment."
Many senior care experts suggest that families have the conversation around critical end-of-life issues when the parents are near 60 and children are 30. Unfortunately, research indicates that 70 percent of conversations happen too late, being initiated by an event such as a health crisis or other emergency, 2 which can increase the likelihood of family disputes. According to surveyed attorneys, two-thirds of these disputes that end up in court could have been avoided if end-of-life wishes were communicated and documented in advance. 3
Previous research conducted by Home Instead, Inc. found nearly one-third (31 percent) of Baby Boomers said their biggest communication obstacle with aging parents is the continuation of the parent-child roles that emerged in childhood, making discussion of sensitive issues even more difficult. In fact, finances, living preferences and driving are the three least talked about topics between surveyed adult children and their aging parents.
"Quite often, when it comes to certain topics, there is a noticeable gap between the wishes of the senior parents and their children," says Carpenter. "This is another reason why it's important to establish plans in advance so that a parent's expressed wishes are met."
To find out more about the "40-70 Rule," please visit: 4070Talk.com.
1Gauging Americans' Overall Life Satisfaction; survey of 1,224 adults 18 and older by the Marist Poll.
2 Home Instead, Inc. completed 645 surveys with senior care professionals in North America.
3 Home Instead, Inc. completed 100 interviews with estate planning lawyers.
4 Home Instead, Inc. completed 600 telephone interviews in the U.S. with seniors age 65 and older, and 600 telephone interviews with adult children who have parents age 65 and older.
Full research executive summary available at 4070Talk.com.
About Home Instead Senior Care
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, Home Instead is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 16 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual's needs. Services span the care continuum -- from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer's care and hospice support, to offering family caregiver education and support. At Home Instead Senior Care, it's relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.
SOURCE Home Instead Senior Care