Tips for Communication Between Seniors and their Adult Children

By Carla Adamic, Director of Marketing, The Reutlinger Community

As people age they often come to crossroads concerning their health and ability to manage their affairs
on their own. These aren’t easy topics to address, but because they are so vitally important they can’t
be ignored. Here is some advice for adult children and seniors for communicating with each other.

For Adult Children:
 Listen to what your parents say and try to understand what is important to them.
 Don’t make assumptions. One incident is one incident. If you see something that concerns you
about your parents’ ability to handle their affairs, recognize that you too could make a simple
mistake. You need to see repeated problems before there’s a real problem.
 Treat your parents like grownups. Infantilizing them is disrespectful and insulting.
 Act in the interest of your parents’ independence when possible, assuming that’s what they
desire. Help them live the lives they want, not the life you want them to live.
 Approach big issues informally or in a light tone.
 Be patient, pose questions, and don’t rush the conversation.

For Seniors:
 Stress what you actually want.
 Don’t avoid important medical visits, and don’t be afraid to share medical issues with your
children.
 Don’t put off getting your financial records in order, make your children aware of where
important information is kept.
 Listen. Talk to your children about their concerns.
 Appreciate the concern your children have for your wellbeing.
 Enjoy your children’s visits.
 Try to stay engaged with mental and physical challenges that keep you engaged with your family
and with the world.

If you are interested in learning more about senior living options, call The Reutlinger Community at
(925)648-2800 or visit our website at rcjl.org.