Home Instead Blog

What is the 40/70 Rule?
Sep 12, 2011

The 40/70 RuleThe 40/70 Rule is a new campaign from Home Instead Senior Care that helps adult children and their ageing parents deal with those sensitive life topics that often make conversations difficult. How do you talk with your mum and dad about driving, dating and independence? And when do you start?


Based on research and experience, we recommend  these conversations begin sooner rather than later. The “40-70 Rule” means that if you are 40, or your parents are 70, it’s time to start talking – at least about certain senior topics.


This guide features a series of situations followed by possible responsesfor some of the most awkward senior subjects. Sooner is better, before a crisis occurs. But it’s never too late to start. These examples cover situations that can be addressed early, as well as those that have reached a crisis level.


The scenarios and responses were developed by Home Instead Senior Care, based on real-life experiences, and with input from communication expert and author Jake Harwood.


Home Instead Senior Care research forms the foundation for this guide. We interviewed 1,500 adult children of ageing parents, asking them about their relationships with their parents, and how they handle discussing sensitive topics with these older adults.


A startling piece of research revealed that nearly one-third of adults have a major communication obstacle with their parents that stems from continuation of the parent-child role. The fact that many of these families still operate according to a parent-child model rather than a peer-to-peer one makes these conversations particularly difficult.


A list of communication tips provided in this guide is intended to help adult children of ageing parents surmount this obstacle and pave the way for better communication and a more fulfilling relationship.


Click here to download a copy of the 40/70 Rule.