#ElderCareChat 9/19/12 Recap: Mythbusters, Eldercare Style

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 21 September 2012


This word, which had been mentioned in a previous chat by one of our regular participants, inspired the topic for this week’s #ElderCareChat.

Defined by Merriam-Webster as “an imaginary object of fear” or “something that causes fear or distress out of proportion to its importance,” the real-time conversation on Wednesday covered all the bugaboos we hear, or may have even once believed, about elders, elder care, and caregiving in general. We crashed TweetDeck on more than one occasion as all 66 attendees rapidly fired away on common myths — most of which are based on fear or ignorance — and worked towards truth-telling, advocacy, awareness and education.

There were so many excellent responses shared that we couldn’t get to all the questions allotted; because the dialogue was so dynamic, we may do a “Part 2” of this particular topic.

Here are a few highlights (but be sure to review the full transcript for more):

Q1. In your opinion, what is the most commonly misunderstood thing about elder care?

@GracefulAging: Myth: “I can wait a bit more before doing anything further.”
@HelloHomeCare: How aging changes responses to medication. This is a very serious misunderstanding.
@Caregiving: Myth: Medicare pays for long-term care either at home or in a nursing home.

Q2: What are some of the myths about caring for elders/caregiving in general?

@AlvitaCare: Coddle-ing vs. helping. Elderly people need help, but keeping independence (where possible) is important.
@EncompassSenior: Elders wanting to be dependent on someone else is a myth.
@CaringWise: Myth about caring for elders: that the child becomes the parent. The caregiver, yes; the parent, no.

Q3: What are some of the myths about Alzheimer’s and dementia?

@MedicalNotice: That it is a normal part of the aging process.
@eCaring: Myth: Alzheimer’s is the only type of dementia. Lewy body and others get little attention.
@BrainToday: This is a pretty destructive myth: If you have the ApoE4 gene, you will certainly get Alzheimer’s. Far from true.

Q4. What are some of the myths about senior living (independent living, assisted living, etc.)?

@JordanEM: Just places to go and die.
@SandwichINK: Myth: that if a senior is in a care facility, they can’t/won’t be required to leave if “issues” arise.
@ShelleyWebbCSO: Repeat; Myth – that Medicare covers Assisted Living and senior living.

Q5. What are some of the myths about home care and hospice?

@VNSNY_News: Biggest hospice myth is that hospice = giving up. It’s particularly bad in #NYC where we never admit defeat.
@MetLaugh: Myth:“Hospice kills people. They come to your house to end your life.”
@SrCareCorner: Myth: if someone checks on mom 2-3 times a week she is fine!

Q6: What is our role in dispelling these myths & where is education most needed?

@CPI_Training: Education needed right in school–nursing, therapists, etc–to give people skills to provide quality care.
@SeniorMoving: Depends on the myth. Some need to educate health providers, some seniors, some caregivers and many the community at large.
@powerscooters: Engaging in chats like this and even in person can help debunk the myths; the more you talk about it the more attention it gets.

Take a look at this week’s participants and stats:

For more insights, check out the full transcript (thanks to The Fox Group for providing this service); click here to review and share it.

Don’t miss our next chat: Wednesday, October 3rd at 1pm ET. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Anyone who is interested in and 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 continue previous discussions, connect with those who share similar interests, or talk about the services you — or the company you represent — have to offer.



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