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Task: Write Down Your Family Medical History

This article on personal planning is provided by Everplans — The web's leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

family medical history

It’s time to organize something that can be an actual lifesaver for those you love: Your family medical history.

It’s common for parents to give their kids a family medical history rundown, but it can easily be misunderstood or forgotten. Perhaps something that affected your grandparents and skipped a generation could be completely preventable and treatable if you catch it early. For example:

  • Do women in your family have a history of breast cancer? 
  • Do the men have a history of prostate cancer? 
  • Any heart or respiratory problems, blood disorders, muscle or spine conditions that may be hereditary?

Your family’s medical history isn’t sentimental like many of the other tasks we have planned, but it can save lives. You can use the same tactics you used to create a Personal Medical Journal to create this, only it won’t require that much detail. You can even treat it like a form you fill out when you visit a doctor and list out common issues (heart, cancer, diabetes, blood, bones/joints, etc.) and if they affect your family.

We know it’s typical for people to play down health threats because they can be uncomfortable, or downright scary, to talk about. Be honest and open otherwise it could be very upsetting if one of your kids finds out they have a condition out of the blue that you knew one of your parents had to manage their whole lives.

The Task

Write out all the things you already know regarding your family medical history, either on paper or in a digital document. Next, write out the names of family members you should contact to find out if there’s anything you either forgot or don’t know about. Perhaps the list you start can end up being shared among the entire family, helping prevent or anticipate possible health issues down the road.

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