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Tell Us: Do You Make Controversial Decisions?

Decisions-Decisions-910x1024I retweeted an article today published a few days ago on Huffington Post. The article’s headline grabbed me: “The 5 Most Controversial Decisions Alzheimer’s Caregivers Will Ever Face.”

The author, Marie Marley, lists these decisions as controversial:

1. Should your caree stop driving?

2. Should your caree be placed in a long-term care facility?

3. Is it okay to stop visiting when your caree no longer recognizes you?

4. Is it okay to divorce your caree in the late stages of the disease?

5. Is it time to engage Hospice services?

I was so struck by the word “controversial.” The word “controversy” means “a prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; disputation concerning a matter of opinion.” I think of these decisions as difficult and heart-wrenching but I’m not sure I would choose “controversial” as the descriptor. Of course, an editor hoping to attract traffic to a website may be behind the dramatic wording.

I’m curious, though, what you think about controversial decisions. Have you faced a decision that you would define as controversial during your caregiving experience? How did you work through the decision? Who debated the decision with you? How did you ultimately come to a decision?

Please share your thoughts and experiences in our comments section, below.

About Denise Brown

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I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues.


  1. Avatar of ejourneys

    I completely agree with you that there is a difference between a “difficult” decision and a “controversial” one. Changing my own POA was a difficult and heart-wrenching decision. Forcing my partner to get help when she kept insisting she was fine was a difficult decision. On the other hand, the only decision I can think of offhand that I would call “controversial” was one on which my partner and I agreed, which was to forgo MS meds. We based our decision on information from three specialists, including one who agreed with us. I guess I would call a “controversial” decision one that goes against some kind of established “norm,” “authority,” or “conventional wisdom.”

    • Avatar of Chris

      We’re faced with difficult decisions on a daily basis, yet those controversial decisions are the ones that do ‘go against some established norm’ very well said, EJ! When Fr Orlando decided to leave the nursing facility, that was a controversial decision because it was against the norm to those who really were not in the know. His attorney and doctors all supported the decision because they were in the know! Controversy often comes (in my opinion) comes when people are not fully informed of decisions, or better yet, insert themselves into a process without all the details.

      The decision to leave the nursing facility was long and drawn out, but it was the right decision for him, no matter how controversial it turned out to be!

  2. Avatar of Pegi

    Difficult or controversial is does seem inappropriate with the list. My husband loved his cardiologist, he was such a “fun” guy as did my father in law. After this particular doctor put him through two failed stent procedures, first in June 2007 clogged, second Oct same year stenting the stent, in Dec this “fun”, well respected Cardio told my husband he had the flu when he went back in for the same symptoms. I packed him up, took him off to PCP and he was immediately sent to hospital with 99% blockage which led to CABG. Controversy was with PCP who had recommended Cardio to begin with, our Vascular Surgeon came to visit while he was hospitalized for CABG. The original Cardio was known for being a “stent mill”. Hubby came through fine and new Cardio was found by me personally. There are things we can control and advocate for even with a bit of controversy, which was probably more bruised ego by PCP. Not at my husband’s expense, thank you very much.

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