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Talking to your mom and dad or other elderly relatives about critical life changes can be difficult.
Especially when it comes to help the money -- so.
How do you have the heart to heart conversation with an older family member.
Without the blame and the frustration joining me now -- selling author of how to say it seniors closing the communication gap with our elders.
David thanks for coming on the show I think this topic is -- So important I had no other things I want to talk to my -- -- back.
I really don't know how to get started why isn't so tough to talk to seniors about some of these money issues some of these health issues.
That was -- very question we asked ourselves twenty years ago we began studying this very question that we are experiencing it personally and professionally and all of our middle aged boomer friends are having the same kind of its -- so we sort of look at that question I think that our thought was out there wasn't much to know about psychology of age and older adults they were.
Pretty obvious to us we take a look anyway and of course we were wrong we found out there was a clear -- blind spot from our point of view.
We had very complete information about them and what was going on psychologically.
And -- -- -- let's talk a little bit about that because.
As you get older the way you communicate is really quite different.
And I think people and younger generations really don't understand that.
He might be really patient with your children or our young people but when -- comes to talking to the elderly.
That patients might go away.
I think -- become frustrated because -- communication style is so different.
And our work we identified.
But we think is -- -- psychological agenda the final phase of life and it is composed of two very important developmental tasks.
The first one is maintaining control werewolf patrols being lost and so.
The need for control is extremely intense and and domineering and their personality and then secondly.
Craig legacy in the world -- time is running short so the idea -- the legacy at the end of your life and being remembered as critical so.
We felt that these two tasks really helped us a lot of communication code and dealing with older adults because otherwise our our communications very provocative.
As you said very impatient and very short and we want to do want them to do and can't forgot what we will cooperate with us.
Let's talk about mistakes for a second you know I mentioned losing your patients what are the other mistakes that people make with elderly relatives.
The biggest mistake is a failure to.
Acknowledge and to offer the fact that you understand controls a big deal in their life you know did without that -- knowledge that they feel like they're fighting for everything.
Every suggestion even though it's helpful -- might -- the money or improve their health.
Becomes you know on the front and they become hypersensitive and they push back and they don't want talk anymore so I think first -- We have to acknowledge that they that controls important and that we respect and that.
Hopefully we don't step in and take away their control which is which is a second big issues so controlled.
Control is -- obviously.
An important issue -- you want to make sure that.
That you're acknowledging that they want to be in charge guy that makes perfect sense.
Taught -- a little bit about the issues and you've got a great list here that issues.
That that you should be -- that you should be working through when thinking about.
Well I think you're talking about the actual topics like -- talking about the strategies.
The timing of the topics like health where will I live what do we do about my health care thing and release your big issues guy that that take quite a bit of planning and goodness you need to be able to communicate have one on one dialogue with your elderly mom or data appear in her or relative to be able to work through all of that.
I think when it comes to health you know someone has take charge of the health situation health is very fragmented and it's very hard for parents and making decisions because you don't understand what's going on.
-- -- -- -- have to somehow organize all the health overview as they can have a conversation was almost like a translator.
So as far from the make choices if someone doesn't take charge and -- be able to do that Sevastopol ones secondly.
The issue of health and really basic question how much health care who I really want how far I want to go how how much procedures I wanted to do for me without.
Someone being able to actually help to make those decisions is very difficult to choose.
Now one of the issues that I've confronted in my life is where to live.
Britain you know ride you wanna get those sometimes you wanna get those parents out of those single family homes and maybe into assisted living in you want to persuade them you don't want to -- Forced them to -- but how do you persuade them that a change might be the right thing.
Well I think we talk about it advertiser control you can have immediate control simply seriously -- have long term control where things might be better it's either someplace else what were some help with home.
And the idea of having help with home begins a dialogue say listen you wanna stay here it's going to be complicated we don't want -- to fallen.
One of assisted living -- wind open ended skilled nursing care so let's talk about.
Some ways that we can somehow modify it and bring some help and then sometimes that conversation and adults as well.
Maybe doing staying ears and the right idea I think you have to begin with the fact that we understand your choice.
The short term choices is is one choice let's talk about a long term choice we can do preserve choice and control for a long period of time.
And money's a big issue and they can be difficult to even get access to see.
The kind of reserve's apparent might have they may not want to show you because of the control issue you mention.
How do you get them to open up about their financial situation.
Well -- is very personal and there's a lot of resistance or to revealing the amount of money that they have to -- adult children anywhere else in the family.
We say to older adults you know the issue planning for your finances comes down to two things -- one as -- reason we plan is preserve choice.
You wanna preserve choices you go along in your life and there will be times a choice to be taken away we wanna maximize.
The -- -- choice you have as you get older and then secondly lack of planning -- people's lack of control if you if you won't plan.
-- -- a lot of control and look back and say I had a chance to make a better choice but I didn't do -- so.
I think we need is choice and control the conversation those kinds of words they resonate very much for the developmental task and and they and it's not a one conversation kind of deal it's a matter we have a conversation -- people here you resonate with and you're able to come back revisited again.
Number one conversation -- deal that's for sure David thanks for coming on tonight is great to talk kid very good information about a difficult topic we appreciate it.
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