Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Keep Your LO's Dignity In Mind When Sharing In Public

A very good post came up today that involved bathroom issues, or accidents in general. If you as a family member or caregiver haven't dealt with this yet, you will..

Dignity was the word that stuck out to me when I read this post. The member said her loved one had long forgot about worrying about her dignity, and they also stated that they would spare us the details of what actually happened.

This has long been an issue for me and many others here on Mp. I don't address it much, first of all I don't want anyone to think I am pointing out what they may have posted recently.

That is never my intention. The fact is we have many pictures posted here on Mp that deal with patients in what I would certainly consider uncompromising positions.

We have had pictures of loved ones literally on their death bed and occasionally we get a picture of someone loved one who is deceased.

In the world we live it, with all the camera phones it is very easy to take photos that are important to you as a family. Some feel that toward the end of life, or even when the patient has passed it is appropriate to take a photo.

I have seen this many times in funeral homes where family members take photos of their loved one in the casket. I don't care to see this, but many families do this.

We have only started allowing pictures on Mp in the last year or so. The reason being we have many other spin off sites just for this, the posting of pictures and many other topics not dementia related.

I understand completely why some of these pictures are posted. But I look at in a very different way. When I started Mp, it had one purpose and still does. And that was too offer a service if you will.

That service being support and awareness. And we have done that better than anyone. What I didn't want was a site where personal pictures are posted about family gatherings, or baby photos, or pictures of ones pets.

All of these are fine. In the proper context. And in this context, we have people struggling everyday, all day long, just to get through and make it to the next day. In other words this is not the context in which to post some of these pictures.

When we have people who join, the last thing I want them to see here is a photo of someone lying on their death bed, or families having fun, or things like that.

It's not that these photos are not uplifting, some are. But when you come to this page as new member, we have one time to make an impression on what we do here and how we do it.

These people who find us are just like you were once. New members scan the posts when they first join and decide in a matter of minutes sometimes if this site is for them.

They are looking for a site with answers. Looking for a site where you could share your struggles with others who are going through the very same thing.

The first thing I want new members to see is our posts about compassion, how we share with each other. Learn from each other. This disease is horrible and there has to be an outlet where you can go to let your mind get off of dementia.

This is why again we have so many spin off pages for pictures, crafts, book and movie reviews, cook book site, a site for loved ones who have passed, and a site for people to try to forget about dementia for a time, which is our Memory People II page.

A good rule of thumb when posting on Mp about your loved ones issues be them bathroom issues, or some very personal things that have happened is to think to yourself, "Is this something I would want posted about me if or when I am in this condition?" What I am trying to say it's all in the wording or description of something. You can post about anything here, just keep in mind of the patients dignity.

Is some of the photos you post something you would want your family to share with tens of thousands of people? All who are strangers.

Granted we are one big family here. And we are all adults. I have said this thousands of times. But we have to maintain our loved ones dignity. Even if they have lost it themselves.

One can get across for example the issues you encounter with bathroom accidents without giving us a blow by blow description. Ever time I read one of these posts, I think what if this was posted about you on the internet?

So, if you post something. A picture or are way to descriptive about things, personal things and you see they have been removed, there is a reason for that.

Keep in mind we have dozens of other pages where pictures and things of that nature can be posted. It is one of the reasons we have so many spin off sites. To keep Mp on point and about dementia.

I understand it's not a bed of roses and we do encourage you to post about your struggles. Perhaps just be cautious about what all you say about your loved one.

Always think, if this was me would I want someone telling tens of thousands of people about the problems I am having is such a descriptive way?

Don't stop sharing your comments, this is not what this post is about. It's about dignity. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, even when we have no idea what the word even means...

©  Rick Phelps  2016