“Old age isn’t for sissies”
Bette Davis, American Actress
The Hollywood movie star was reflecting on her personal experience, as she aged. She might have added “old age isn’t for family caregiver sissies.”
Caregiving is hard work, especially for the oldest daughter. A number of research studies have profiled the typical family caregiver. It’s the eldest daughter, age 49 caring for her widowed mother, roughly age 79.
According to research by Stephen Tweed, Leading Home Care, the pecking order in larger families, is usually the next oldest daughter who lives close by, followed by the daughter-in-law and finally the son.
The two generations represented here are the Matures, late 60s and up, and the Boomers, late 40s to late 60s. These are two inherently different generations with different attitudes, values and decision-making abilities.
Boomers are more likely to have living parents. The “longevity bonus” we are experiencing means 70% of Boomers have one or more living parents. But family responsibilities don’t stop there. About a third of those with parents have children at the same time.
Overall, moving or downsizing into a new location such as your retirement community is one of the hardest and most difficult ones associated with an older person at this stage of life. Adding to it, the physical distance between parents and adult children can result in weakened family connections.
About 90%of your sales effectiveness dealing with family decision-makers is based on your ability to develop rapport with family members in both generations. Developing rapport can be a tall challenge.
My advice: Build a personal relationship with both. Stand out from others in your profession by taking a supportive position to help them get through what might be disharmonious times.
Use technique that work with both generations. Use the concept of communicating through relevant stories involving others families in similar situations.
Bring into play your personal experiences…with your older parents and relatives. Share with them how you or your associates have helped those who needed advice.
Focus on the emotional connection between older adults and their grown children. Focus on the family. Show that you care about each as a person. Ask them how does it feel for them? Does this or that make sense?
Usually, the parents don’t want to be dependent on others. They want to be independent and self-sufficient. Try to work those words into your sales conversation.
The adult children want to be able to control their lives. Present information in ways to give them options but let them decide. Most of all, Boomers want help simplifying their lives. Show that you understand that.
Help them to be strong and understand that caregiving is not for sissies.
For more help, go to my webinar for www.retirementhomes.com, “How to Sell to Seniors and Their Adult Children At the Same Time.”
Here’s a link to it on YouTube.