This foundational article is now available in a PDF booklet that can be shared family members, colleagues, clients and anyone who is involved with older adults. Just use the order form below to obtain your complimentary copy
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
-George Bernard Shaw
Despite the unprecedented opportunity afforded advisors by an aging population, many find themselves unprepared to successfully communicate with seniors. Instead, they wind up frustrated and confused about “what went wrong” with their best opportunities. While it would be easy to blame this disconnect on the eccentricities of seniors, new research on aging identifies poor signaling based on misinformation as a primary cause of these communication setbacks. Despite their best efforts, advisors wind up sending the wrong message. What can make this better? The good news is that by updating their understanding about the psychology of seniors, advisors can open the door to more productive and rewarding relationships older clients. The updating process begins with a new insight about aging: older adults are still growing. How is this possible? Aren’t older adults merely diminished versions of their younger selves, looking backward instead of forward, having lived past their developmental peak? While this turns out to be the physical reality of aging, assuming that the loss of physical capabilities implies a mandatory loss of mental capabilities and the end of personality development has proven to be incorrect. Research has shown just the opposite is occurring…