Aging and Decision-Making

No matter how old we are, making decisions and choices can be more difficult when we are presented with lots of options. As we age, we may take more time to make decisions compared to our children or grandchildren, and the situation can become a source of frustration for family members.

Read Why It Takes So Long to Decide in the March 9, 2011 New York Times. The article by reporter Karen Stabiner, examines the interaction between younger and older family members as they go about making decisions, focusing especially  on the different approaches the brain uses for decision-making as a person grows older.

The article, appearing in the New Old Age blog, ends by comparing the strengths of middle-age brains (adult children) brains with the strengths of the brains of aging parents.

Middle age brings a valuable balance of ability and experience, researchers say. “Adult children are actually ideally suited to help an aging parent,” said Dr. Samanez-Larkin. We are, he said, at “a psychological prime, of sorts,” capable of being useful — so long as we remain supportive, and resist the urge to take over.

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