We interviewed author and aging expert Joy Loverde about how to make the most of our later years. Watch a preview of our Experts in Aging interview with her below.
Exploring Life in Our Golden Years
In our Experts in Aging interview series, we recently spoke with Joy Loverde, author of Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old? and The Complete Eldercare Planner. A respected expert with over 30 years in the aging field, Joy shared valuable insights on the history of eldercare, the growth of innovations like homesharing, and her tips for broaching the idea with an older parent who might need extra income or help around the house.
Predicting the Aging Crisis
Joy Loverde could be seen as an aging economy prophet. During the mid-1980s, she warned corporations about imminent aging-related problems—but they were too busy or distracted to take notice. They thought childcare was the important and profitable topic and gave little attention to eldercare.
Fast forward 30 years, and Loverde’s insights have borne out. Caregivers are older and parents are living longer lives. The needs of aging parents have kicked in, and employees at the height of their careers are giving more time, energy and resources to assist them. Corporations’ lack of foresight in the 80s has resulted in a big caregiving gap. With no system in place to support the new aging dynamic, so-called “silver tech” products and services (like Silvernest) become even more important.
3 Tips for Discussing Homesharing with an Aging Parent
It can be tough to advocate for homesharing—especially if you’re talking to someone from the generations raised to believe that sole home ownership is the ultimate mark of success. Living with another person simply wasn’t done. For this reason, adult children should approach homesharing conversations with compassion and be careful not to come off as pushy or impatient if parents are slow to warm to the idea.
If you are broaching the idea of homesharing with an older parent, here are Joy’s tips for making these conversations as smooth as possible.
1. Emphasize independence. Reassure your parent that bringing on a roommate will increase their independence—not compromise it. This is often the most important issue—who would want to lose the independent lifestyle they have enjoyed for years?
2. Highlight choice. Homesharing gives people the power to make a choice about their liv-ing situation before the choice is made for them. As Loverde puts it, homesharing keeps the homeowner in the driver’s seat, allowing them more control over their lifestyle and how long they remain at home.
3. Focus on health benefits. Many of us think of care as only involving physical health, but Loverde outlined three other types of care that require our attention: intellectual, spiritual and social care. Homesharing can impact all of these, especially the social aspect.
How do you feel about the issues related to aging and homesharing? Do you think that homesharing is a strong option for someone in your life? How might you communicate the benefits of this living situation with your parent? If you are considering a housemate, what might it take to convince you that it’s the right choice?
Access the full interview video for more information, including detailed insights on how to talk with parents, the dangers of loneliness and Loverde’s inspiration for writing some of the most important books in this industry!
Want to watch the full interview with Joy Loverde?
To learn more about how you can get involved in important conversations like this one, and share this interview with your community, check out the Silvernest Community Leadership Program.