Pages Navigation Menu

Observations and commentary on aging, caregiving, and the complex journey through the second half of life.

How To Say It To Seniors

How To Say It To Seniors“Age is an opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress.”
– H.W. Longfellow

This book explores the reasons that communicating with the older adults is sometimes so frustrating and offers strategies and skills for overcoming these difficulties. In the book I show that by understanding our older adults’ unique developmental agenda and using different language, phrases, and vocabulary, anyone – relatives, friends, colleagues – can learn to communicate effectively and effortlessly with their aging family members, acquaintances, and clients.

Aimed at baby boomers and their parents, professionals who work with the older adults, and everyone who has regular contact with older adults and finds conversations at times to be an exercise in frustration, this book offers the insights I’ve formed in serving this segment of the population over the past 25 years.

The book has four aims:

  • To help readers understand the conflicting and previously unappreciated tasks on the older adult’s unique developmental agenda;
  • To recognize how these developmental tasks can interfere with our ability to communicate effectively;
  • To offer easy-to-learn skills that enhance communication between the generations;
  • To guide us in becoming advocates for our aging parents.

Below is the Table of Contents

Foreword, by Mary Elina Ferris, MD, MSEd


I: Holding On and Letting Go: The Unappreciated Agendas of Older Adults

Ch. 1: Different Missions, Different Agendas: How The Aging Process Affects Communication
Ch. 2: The Need for Control
Ch. 3: Legacy: The Need to Be Remembered

II. The Everyday World of Older Adults: How It Looks, How It Feels, How It Sounds

Ch. 4: The Myth of Diminished Capacity
Ch. 5: The Communication Habits of Older Adults: What Do They Look Like, How Do They Sound, What Do They Reveal?
Ch. 6: The Predictable Dilemmas of Getting Old

III: New Strategies for Communicating with Older Adults

Ch. 7: Why is This So Hard? Expectations, Progress, and Setbacks in Building Better Relationships with Older Adults
Ch. 8: Figuring Out the Right Signals: Hidden Communication Challenges in Everyday Living
Ch. 9: Returning Control to Its Rightful Owner
Ch. 10: Discovering Organic Legacy

Appendix I: A Note to Professionals
Appendix II: Glossary
About the Author