FAMILY GATHERING & THE TALK
excerpts from the book "My Aging Parents"
Research the information and have the doctor or nurse present in the initial conversation, so that if clinical questions come up they can be addressed. Then have a similar conversation at home and always let the family behave the way that is best for them to cope.
The most important and difficult conversation you will have is the talk about your loved one’s condition. Take special time out to visit and don’t make light or jokes about the situation. Be honest and explain it in terms that everyone can understand, the less clinical the better. When explaining the condition be sure to think of everyone in the room as not having any knowledge about the topic and try to be as concise as possible.
Some family members cry, some get angry, some don’t have any feelings and remain stoic. It is very individual with each person regarding their own reaction and processing of the illness of their loved one or themselves. Don’t judge them just let them react and remain calm. Offer comfort if they want it but allow them their own personal space and their own way to grieve the news.