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January 18, 2008

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David Solie, MS, PA

At some point in the lives of our aging parents things slip out of control. It may be a subtle change over time that finally becomes unmanageable or the sudden arrival of a medical setback. As much as we want them to remain independent, events take them off course and tough decisions need to be made about the quality of their lives. It could be unsafe driving, near accidents at home, poor compliance with medical treatment, financial negligence, or the inability to recover from the loss of a spouse. Regardless of the circumstances, it becomes clear to those who care about them and to those who care for them that something needs to change. The question is how to communicate this urgent and unavoidable need for change? What is the right approach to navigate these delicate and many times volatile interventions with our aging parents that will minimize the trauma of the tough choice while at the same time give them hope about the future? While there are no easy answers, there are three communication strategies that can improve the chances of our aging parents eventually participating in and successfully surviving these tough choices. (You can read the balance of this article on "Communicating Tough Choices to Aging Parents" at http://www.dsolie.com/blog).

David Solie, MS, PA

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