As your parents grow older, it becomes more and more important to have those tough conversations about aging – but most American families put off those discussions, often until it’s too late.

That’s why senior caregiving experts are promoting the “40-70 Rule” – a new program that’s designed to help seniors and their children and caregivers through the process.

“40-70” gets its name from a very simple rule: experts say the time to start talking with your parents about aging-related issues is when you’re getting close to 40 and your parents are getting close to 70. That will give you enough time to discuss tough issues calmly and thoughtfully, well in advance of any health crisis or other emergency.

Those issues may include living arrangements, finances, when and when not to drive, health care and end-of-life decisions – and even dating, when your parent is divorced or widowed.

Stephen Lair, of the Home Instead Senior Care branch in Chapel Hill, spoke with Aaron Keck last week on “Aaron in the Afternoon.”

Visit for more information about how to get started with the 40-70 program.

Click here for seven tips on how to communicate with your aging parents. (Key tips: start early, before a problem arises; put yourself in your parents’ shoes; try to find solutions that maximize your parents’ independence; and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.)

And for a longer discussion of the “40-70” plan, visit this link.