#ElderCareChat 8/24/11 Recap: Caregiving’s Difficult Decisions

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 26 August 2011

Caregiving isn’t for wimps. The experience is rife with difficult decisions, which is what we talked about in the latest installment of #ElderCareChat.

Kicking off the discussion was a dialogue about what makes decisions of any kind (caregiving-related or not) difficult. Prime culprits were conflicting emotions like guilt, anger, grief, and resentment; fear of the unknown, and unknowable outcomes; and since few of us make decisions in a vacuum, differences of opinion among those involved in/affected by the decision-making process. @PaulFalkowski1 gave this great “in-a-nutshell” answer:

  • @PaulFalkowski1, “Making decisions for someone you care deeply for, wanting to do the very best for them, makes decisions hard.” #eldercarechat


When it comes to caregiving decisions, particularly those of the elder care kind, making choices about end-of-life/advanced directives topped the “extremely difficult decisions” list. A good reminder for all those in attendance came from @AgingWisely:

  • @AgingWisely: “Hopefully we all walk the walk & have talked to our families about desires, preferences, etc. as our gift to them.” #eldercarechat


Getting a second opinion – or saying no to a medical professional regarding a recommended treatment or medication – was another complex decision cited by chat participants. Many shared personal stories about their experiences with this sticky situation, and @rightathomeus described it well:

  • @rightathomeUS: “The balance between physicians and family can be a constant tug of war.” #eldercarechat


Other highlights included the following:

  • @SeniorCounselor: “The decisions made while caregiving can often be the most difficult decisions in your lifetime.” #eldercarechat
  • @ElinSilveous: “Advance Directives, POLST & Durable Power of Attorney are huge gifts elders can give to caregivers.” #eldercarechat
  • @seniorsguides: “If one is not cognizant of those emotions at play, I can’t see how any decision following can be good.” #eldercarechat
  • @CaringWise: “Education can help build consensus; it can also give you the courage to know you are making the best choice possible.” #eldercarechat


Review & share the entire chat transcript, and even check out analytics (special thanks to our friends at The Fox Group for this valuable service!).

Got more to say about this topic? We encourage you to share your thoughts, continue a discussion thread started during the chat, or begin a brand-new conversation beyond the limits of Twitter’s 140 at our LinkedIn group.

Keep an eye on the #ElderCareChat hashtag for more details, and in the meantime, make plans to attend the next one: Wednesday, September 7th at 1pm EST.

There are 2 Comments about this post

  1. Michelle,

    Thanks for providing us with a great summary of the most recent #eldercarechat. Having participated in most of these chats, I can attest to the excellent information and wonderful support the participants provide to one another. I would wholeheartedly urge all your readers to make plans to check in on the next chat session.

    Also, since you are also one of the “founding members”, I’m excited to announce the formulation of a new chat session, (hashtag-#talkalz) which will address issues surrounding Alzheimer’s Disease. The inaugural session is scheduled for Tuesday, September 13th at 9:00 AM PST. Please make sure you mark it on your calendars-I look forward to seeing many tweeps there!


    on 30 August 2011 / 8:26 PM

  2. Thanks so much for the compliment, Craig! We truly appreciate your support, and we value your input and insight – it certainly has contributed to the success of these chats! Glad you found the summary useful, and thanks for encouraging our readers to check in on the next chat. I hope they listen to you! :)

    Thanks also for sharing the details of the exciting new Alzheimer’s chat (#talkalz) commencing next month. It’s going to be great!


    on 31 August 2011 / 10:09 AM


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