THE OTHER TALK, Tim Prosch
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According to author Tim Prosch, talking with the family about the issues, decisions and role reversals that will occur in the retirement years is just plain difficult. Probably harder than that first "talk" about the birds and the bees.
And while everyone agrees that this other talk is important and necessary, the facts are:
- 75% of Baby Boomers have not made known their last chapter decisions (everything from spending priorities to living arrangements to end of life directives) according to data from the National Hospice Foundation
- 70% of adult children have not talked with their parents about issues related to aging as reported in a recent AARP study
In fact, most families don't confront the issues and decisions of the last chapter until a crisis hits. Children are then forced to take action, often without the advice or consent of their parents. Typically the result is a very stressful, painful situation that can last for years.
The Other Talk is a practical guide to the kinds of decisions parents and children need to make together, along with a plethora of resources to help them do so. It explains why and how to have this talk sooner rather than later, and is designed to make the process not nearly as daunting and unsettling as one might expect.
The author suggests that one effective technique for smoothing the transition between parent and child is to establish "trigger points."
"For instance, I've agreed with my family in writing that I will stop driving (which I love) based on my doctor's annual evaluation of my eyesight, motor skills and mental acuity," Prosch explained. "This means there's no room for misunderstanding by my family or backsliding by me."
Prosch based his book on hundreds of interviews with families but also doctors, nurses, counselors, lawyers, hospice practitioners and five very long years coping with the end of life illnesses of his own parents.
On the surface, The Other Talk sounds like it is about being a great parent, about preparing the family for one of life's great challenges. And it is.
But it also carries with it the added value of freeing both parents and children to focus on getting the most out of the rest of their time together.
The Other Talk can be found in paperback on Amazon.com as well as an ebook (Kindle, Nook, iBook, etc.) A free first chapter is offered on www.theothertalk.com.
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