#ElderCareChat 6/6/12 Recap: Complex Caregiving Conversations

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 08 June 2012

Caring for an elder you love — be it a grandparent, parent, friend, spouse, or sibling — inevitably prompts the need for complex conversations you’d probably rather avoid…

  • Do you want extraordinary measures to be taken?
  • You need help around the house.
  • What if the doctor is wrong?
  • I can no longer care for you in my home; we need to consider assisted living.
  • When am I going home?


These were among the sensitive subjects our 43 #ElderCareChat participants discussed on Wednesday. Strategies were suggested, “best practices” revealed, words of affirmation and encouragement were exchanged. Members debated whether honesty is truly the best policy in cases of dementia, and they relayed poignant stories of having “the talk” about end-of-life wishes or a diagnosis of terminal illness.

As always, attendees were respectful of the diverse opinions and experiences shared, tweeted in a courteous and professional manner, and welcomed new members graciously. (It’s an honor to be part of such a warm and caring community!)

The following questions framed the hour-long conversation:

Q1: What is the hardest caregiving question or conversation you ever faced?
Q2. When the truth will hurt, how do you deliver the message?
Q3. How do you handle a relative, friend or client who resists help?
Q4. How do you manage a repetitive question, like “When am I going home?”
Q5. How do you begin a conversation about end-of-life wishes?
Q6. What other difficult discussions have you faced?
Q7. What’s your best practice for handling these thorny topics?


Review these highlights:

For more insights, check out the full transcript (thanks to The Fox Group’s “Healthcare Hashtag Project”); click here to review and share it. Get an attendance record and other stats via these #ElderCareChat analytics.

Don’t miss our next chat: Wednesday, June 20th at 1pm ET. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Anyone who is interested in/passionate about eldercare issues can join us anytime. Prior participation is not required, nor is there a need to stay for the full hour.

If the “real-time” frame doesn’t sync with your schedule, or if you feel that your question or idea requires well beyond 140 characters, start a discussion thread on our LinkedIn page or use the #eldercarechat hashtag. The LinkedIn group is also a great place to get to know other participants better, continue previous discussions, or to connect with professionals and family caregivers who share similar interests.



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