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Call to Action

April 12, 2012

How is social media going to help me give you more information? That is the big question and the reason I am participating in the “APRIL PLATFORM CHALLENGE” put on by Robert Lee Brewer. It’s been a fast and furious 12 days. Each day Robert posts a new challenge those participating in the APRIL CHALLENGE. I’ve learned a tremendous amount, but also realized how much more I need to learn before I feel proficient with social media.

Imagine, a week ago the idea of being engaged on Twitter was anathema to me. Yet, one of the challenges was to get a Twitter account and engage with others. Now I am following over 100 other tweeps and have over 60 following me. In addition, I tweet every day. Ok, it may only be one or two tweets a day, but I’m out there.

Facebook and I were already long-term friends, but I was using my married name and my writing will be published under a different name. I’m not sure yet how I want to make the transition so will wait a while, and learn more before changing my Facebook persona. At any rate, I am happy I at least feel comfortable there.

LinkedIn present different challenges. A few years ago I put up a profile there for professional reasons (different career path) but I never really engaged. So, as part of the challenge I went in and changed my name to my ‘writing name’ and put up a profile picture. After adding a few connections, and reaching out to a few others, I decided to back burner this site until I feel more proficient and can link in to the blog.

Now we come to the blog–the website is under construction and won’t be up for a few more weeks. No worries–it will be there, but it’s just not ready yet. Once it is I’ll post regularly on Sunday and Wednesday. Until then today’s challenge was to write a blog post with a “call to action.”

This blog is for you, my followers, to glean information and to ask questions around the topic of starting a dialogue with your aging parents about the life transitions they are facing and their end-of-life plans. So my call to action question to you is: What is the biggest barrier in your relationship with your parents to having a discussion around the aging process?





4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2012 7:26 am

    My parents are both gone now (Mom in 2005, Dad in 2010), but I can speak to this.
    Our biggest barrier was that they didn’t want us to worry, and they didn’t want to make their doctors angry by complaining about treatments that didn’t work.
    There are five of us; I’m the eldest of four girls, and our brother is the baby. My youngest sister lived in the same town as my folks, I’m two hours away by public transportation, the others are hundreds of miles away in other states.
    My parents were very pro-active; they made their first wills/living wills/health care proxies/power-of-attorney appointments in the 1980s (they were younger than I am now). As the eldest (and ultimately, executrix), they always kept me apprised of financial details and health issues. Where it got a little dicey was when our mom started to have serious problems with chronic pain and wouldn’t talk to her doctor about the fact that the treatments and meds were not working. I stepped in and talked to their doctor myself (after getting consensus from my sibs and sibs-in-law that we all thought it was okay for me to do so). My parents were furious at me. My mother yelled at me for treating her like a child. I explained myself, explained that all the sibs agreed that it was the right thing to do, and both mom and dad came around.
    It didn’t end up well, in that mom had surgery and died a month later of sepsis she acquired in the hospital. But the decision to contact her doctor directly was the correct one; her condition going into surgery was too advanced to ensure a good outcome. It might have gone better had I intervened much earlier.
    You can read my two-part post about our struggles and decisions with our dad on my blog at

    • April 14, 2012 10:16 am

      Your points are very relevant. I’m surprised your doctor was able to even talk to you about your mother without her approval. HIPPA laws, which went into effect a number of years ago, prohibit that type of communication. The issues you address in your post are exactly why I am writing my book “Starting the Dialogue :A Resource for Adult Children of Aging Parents.” The key is to engage in the conversations before issues arise so that there are no hurt feelings, furious outbursts, or disruption in family dynamics. It’s a touchy subject. As a nurse in home health I saw these types of scenarios ruin trust within families. Thank you so much for commenting on the post.

  2. April 14, 2012 1:24 pm

    Laura, when I called my mom’s doctor, it was more that I wanted him to listen to ME, because my mother wasn’t honest with him about the degree of pain she was experiencing. Also, I had both parents’ heathcare proxies and both kinds of powers of attorney (durable and financial). Had I not called, I think my mother would have had to be taken into the emergency room before her doctor even became aware of how much she was suffering– and all because she didn’t want to “bother” him. He really had no idea.
    The five of us were on the same page from the get-go with both parents because tmy folks were very clear and upfront about their wishes. We all had my parents’ best interests at heart.
    I didn’t realize how blessed and lucky we were until after we lost Dad. Our friends and friends of friends (especially older people) were AMAZED that there were no sibling disagreements, no violations of trust, no asset-grabbing, nothing at all like that. It goes back to how we were raised, and thow we saw our parents treat our grandparents, which was with love and dignity.

    • April 14, 2012 6:14 pm

      Hi Claudia,
      I applaud you and your family for the way you handled things with your parents. I wish there were more families as open and prepared as yours. Hopefully my work in this area will help others follow in your tracks with love, respect, and dignity for all parties involved. You are an inspirtation for others.

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