When to discuss big issues with aging parents

Home care company recommends "40-70 rule"

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – As the U.S. population continues to age, more and more people are dealing with major questions about the quality of life for them or their aging loved ones. A private homecare agency called the Home Instead Senor Group has ascertained that the best thing for parents and their children to do is what’s referred to as the “40-70 rule.”

The idea is that by the time children reach the age of 40, or their parents reach age 70, they sit down together and discuss a range of important issues. Everything from how long parents should keep driving to nursing home care and burial arrangements should be discussed.

22News went to the Holyoke Senior Center Thursday, to discuss with local senior citizens on their thoughts about long-term planning. Some people we talked to thought that 70 was too soon to start planning such things, as people in their 70s are now much more vibrant than they used to be.

87 year old Irene Stawarz told 22News it was her decision to give up her driver’s license.

“They all said ‘what you’re doing?’ What I’m doing is selling my car, I’m getting rid of it,” Stawarz said.

“I think it’s nice kids can go to their parents, that’s what we brought them up for, so if you teach them that, they respect you and you respect them back,” 73 year-old Shirley Elliot said.

Others agreed with the concept of the 40-70 rule. One woman that 22News spoke with said that when she was in her 60s, she talked with her children about whether she would want to go to a nursing home if she became ill.

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