Communication Not Easy

Do you ever have a problem talking to your family?

One of the major issues in the book Voices Of Older Women is the difficulty in communication among family members.  Some of the women I interviewed said that they wanted more involvement with family but were reluctant to tell them that. They may want you to know they need more contact or some assistance but they also found it very hard to talk honestly about real issues of need.

They gave several reasons.

1. Their families are very busy 
2. They didn’t want to impose on them.
3. Didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings
4. Didn’t want to get their feelings hurt
5. Didn’t want the adult children to see their vulnerability
6. They didn’t want to alienate them
7. They are not used to asking for help
8. They are used to being independent

Some Parent’s common worries
1. That existing resources will last – they don’t want to outlive their money
2. Purposeless existence – did my life matter?
3. No longer needed
4. Fear of becoming a crime victim – affects willingness to accept help, stay active, or socialize
5. Illness – that can change life in a hurry.
6. Maintenance of home – will they be able to keep it up?
7. Driving – giving up that last bit of independence
8. They don’t want to be a burden

Taking into account the difficulty some older persons have talking about their needs and desires, is it any wonder that sometimes the adult children don’t know much about what is going on with their parents?

The question is do they/you really want to know?

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