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Saturday, April 19, 2008

"How to Say It With Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders" by David Solie

At Aging Parents Insights , author, speaker and educator David Solie recently discussed "what to do about aging parents who have little or no savings but refused to discuss any aspect of their 'money issue'." He explains that to elders the lack of money means a lack of control, and offers strategies for adult children who are dealing with this type of situation.

In another article on his website titled "Reframing and Signaling: Communicating Tough Choices to Aging Parents" David Solie gives concrete, detailed suggestions for this. I especially like the part where he says to "The goal is to signal that you get it." In communication skills classes I took in college we were taught how important it is to the speaker for the listener to acknowledge that you grasp the situation. If the speaker does not feel the listener clearly understands the situation the speaker may keep repeating the message hoping that it will get through, until you get it.

He also discussed the "loss of control" that elder's feel in their lives, healthwise and financially, how to deal with it, and how to find the best possible solutions. He explained loss of control is also related to elders goal of concern over leaving a "legacy." I found this to be very helpful. Even we are familiar already with these ideas, it helps to have a review of them before we make plans to discuss finances with elders.

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