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Giving senior dads independence

Giving senior dads independence for Father's Day may be the best gift of all
For adult kids and their senior Dads, the perennial Father's Day gifts of ties, soap-on-a-rope and mugs have probably lost their luster.
This year, many adult children in Massachusetts may consider giving their loved ones something more complex the gift of independence and dignity for fathers who want to stay at home as long as possible. In fact, two million Massachusetts boomers are turning 55 between now and 2020, which means millions of their senior dads (not to mention step-dads or granddads) may be depending on them to help them stay in their own homes or assisted-living facilities.
Home Instead of Massachusetts is helping families do this with more confidence and peace of mind. With offices from Boston, the Cape and the Berkshires to the Metrowest, South and North Shore suburbs, Home Instead works with Massachusetts families to get senior loved ones the help they need to handle daily chores and activities and to ensure the day-to-day companionship that is so vital to overall health and happiness.
In addition to providing in-home services, Home Instead of Massachusetts is also a caring, expert resource in helping families navigate the tough decisions and conversations that can come with helping seniors stay at home like: "How do we respect Dad's wishes to stay home but assure his happiness and safety? How can we juggle Dad's needs with the demands of our own kids, careers and life? How can we broach difficult conversations like when it's time to stop driving or get outside help with shopping, cooking or cleaning?

The 40/70 Rule
To further assist families at Father's Day and every day Home Instead offers a free on-line tool called the 40/70 Rule where 40+ "kids" can find tangible advice on how to bridge communication gaps and broach delicate subjects with their 70+ parents. Here are some highlights:
Get Started. If you are 40 and your parents are 70 it's time to start observing and gathering information carefully and thoughtfully.
Talk it Out. Approach your parents with a conversation. Discuss what you've observed and ask your parents what they think is going on.
Sooner is best. Talk sooner versus later when a crisis has already occurred.
Forget the Baby Talk. Remember you are talking to an adult not a child.
Maximize independence. Always try to move towards solutions that provide the maximum amount of independence for the older person.
Be aware of the whole situation. Look at the whole picture before jumping to conclusions or initiating conversations.
Ask for help. Many of the issues of aging can be solved by providing aging parents with the support they need to stay independent. Resources such as Home Instead of Massachusetts, Area Agencies and Aging and local senior centers can help. Reach out.
For full information on the 40/70 rule including a quick parent-child communications "health" assessment visit www.homeinstead.com/resources/4070/default.aspx.


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