Facing Communications Challenges and Differences

Personal Finance March 22, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

"In my family, it's not spoken. It's going to be very difficult for my brothers and sister, because it's like, 'Don't worry about that. Let's not talk about that." - Magdalena, medical interpreter/translator

Depending on their individual personalities and values as well as on cultural and religious influences, family members often view end-of-life decisions very differently. It's important to proceed with love and sensitivity and to take these individual differences into account when conversing with your family about living wills and appointment of health-care agents. When you can, bridge geographic distances by talking in person.

Read on, or click on the video buttons below for discussion strategies.

Five children, five unique responses
Tom, manager of chaplaincy services

You do not have the Flash plugin installed, which means you are missing out on great interactive content. Download Flash.

Tom -- Five children, five unique responses


Tom, manager of chaplaincy services
Tom, manager of chaplaincy services

Transcript: "If I have five children and I love them as my children, I would want to involve them and tell them what my decisions are and expect that since they're five unique people there are probably going to be five unique responses and talk with each of them about that so they're all on one page and I've honored those differences and their feelings, so when the time comes they can say, you know, I really had a real hard time understanding where Dad was coming from on this but we talked about it and I'm okay with that. When that doesn't happen, all of that grieving and processing has to occur, but now it occurs in crisis."


Bridging distance isn't easy
Magdalena, medical interpreter/translator

You do not have the Flash plugin installed, which means you are missing out on great interactive content. Download Flash.

Magdalena -- Bridging distance isn't easy


Magdalena, medical interpreter/translator
Magdalena, medical interpreter/translator

Transcript: "And also, and I bring this up again, distance because it's so typical that somebody from the outside who has not been present throughout the whole process comes and says, well, what about this, we need to do it this other way, and I think that's where the problems within families arise, when you have an aunt or an uncle or a brother or a sister who has not been present because they live out of town and they might look at it-- they have not been through the whole-- you know, when you are there, you all move through this current together, and you are kind of building a level of communication and trust and decision-making, but when somebody comes and arrives from the outside and has not been through that process it's very easy to say, hey, you're doing it all wrong, I'm looking at it objectively. So, I think that's, again, communication and seeing how different situations might play because not everybody is present all of the time."


Different personalities, different perspectives
Frank, computer specialist

You do not have the Flash plugin installed, which means you are missing out on great interactive content. Download Flash.

Frank -- Different personalities, different perspectives


Frank, computer specialist
Frank, computer specialist

Transcript: "And I can see, because of the very differences in the two children we have, and they are very different personalities, that they may disagree when the time comes-- that one would want to keep Mom around as long as possible, the other one may be much more detached about it and say, that's not appropriate, that's not what she wants. We don't know that. So I feel like in all of these cases, it's just good-- We have made that choice, we have made very specific kinds of statements that we want to be followed and I'm peaceful that no matter who it is that it will get taken care of that way, as opposed to sort of taking a chance.”





Connect with us

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

Welcome

This is where you can find research-based information from America's land-grant universities enabled by eXtension.org

LOCATE

USDA / NIFA

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.