Ever glance around the dinner table during the holidays and realize how many generations are present? It’s a beautiful feeling.
It’s also the perfect time to learn more about your family’s history – specifically your family’s medical history. But, as many young and inquisitive Black generations have learned, it can be difficult to get grandmother and granddad to talk about their ailments or the conditions their parents and grandparents may have died from.
Knowing these things about your family, though, can help prevent developing certain diseases.
Here’s how to talk to your loved ones this Christmas about family health history:
1. Make a list.
Before you get to dinner, make a family tree of everyone who will be attending dinner – including half siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. Write down everyone’s age and any health conditions you already know about for each person. If any relatives have passed away, write down what was the cause of their death and age.
2. Ask parents for details.
Your parents have a wealth of information and they may be easier to talk to initially. Show your parents the list you’ve created and ask for details about the conditions each relative is living with – especially when they were diagnosed and why.