Thursday, March 19, 2009

Message Most Relevant Now

I had and opportunity to speak about the relevance of the book, Voices Of Older Women, on Monday, to a group of older ladies. The emphasis was on intergenerational communication and the imperative need for it at this time. Faced with the many scams, and frauds going around now especially among seniors, who can be vulnerable to them, we need to know what is going on with our older family members.

When I mentioned some of the current scams reported in the newspaper and on by the media almost everyone had an example or story to tell. This is happening right now everywhere. In light of the bad economy, the perpetrators are becoming more desperate and bold. We need to be talking to our older family members.

Improving Communication

I emphasized that we need to understand the different values and characteristics of the generations in order to communicate well with one another. We are coming from different points of view and it is hard to be completely honest with each other.

How much do we really know about our older relatives?
For instance the G.I. generation aged 85 to 108 and the Silent Generation aged 67 to 84 sometimes find it difficult to talk about how they are really getting along and what they need. The Baby Boomer Generation aged 49 to 66 may not press them for information for many reasons. The solutions would be different between the generations.

Some of the ladies present were at odds with their families and are searching for ways to get together. One woman was planning to get five or so friends together in a group to discuss ways to improve communication with families.

What other ways could we improve communication? How do we mend fences?
Do you know what your mother’s hopes and dreams are? Did you ever ask her what really bothers her? Do you know what her favorite person, place, or thing is? Do you know what her passion is? What her talents and skills are? Maybe we should make some time and ask. Do your children know these things about you?

It is important to build the trust so we can talk about long term care issues. What would you like done if you become gravely ill? Do you have a Durable Power of Attorney?
There are many other questions to be asked and answered.

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