Does The Patient Want To Be Featured On Social Media? – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Have you observed the latest trend on social media?  It’s not a new meme or hashtag.  It’s the phenomenon of people posting about loved ones who are ill or even dying.  I certainly understand why it’s happening.  It probably seems like the easiest way to keep everyone in your friends and family network in the loop.  But have those who post considered whether or not the patient wants to be featured on social media?

In the last six months I have observed the following:

  1. Selfies of family members at a hospice patient’s bedside posing with a person who appears to be sleeping or at least half-asleep.
  2. Videos of patients who have dementia, are recovering from strokes, and/or doing rehab exercises.
  3. Lengthy, personal updates about a patient’s health that are several paragraphs long.  Some of these posts include detailed information on diagnosis, medications, surgeries, and prognosis.  Many of these updates feature graphic descriptions of symptoms the patient is experiencing.

Perhaps these patients are well aware that their health progress will be featured on social media.  Or maybe the family members believe there is implied consent for posting.  After all, Millennial and Generation Z patients may very well assume that such photos or videos of themselves will be uploaded straight to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even Snapchat.  But the vast majority of photographs and videos I am seeing in hospital or nursing home settings are of Baby Boomers and Traditionalist who may not realize their health status is being shared.

What can we do?

Family member & friends:  If you want to post about a sick or dying loved one, ask if he or she is okay with it.  While many family members will understand if you send out an e-mail or update a private page like www.lotsahelpinghands.org so close relatives are in the know, many may object to broad-based updates to all of your extensive network of contacts (and their contacts, depending on your privacy settings).

Also, consider the last time you took a sick day.  Would you welcome the prospect of someone posting a picture or video of you?

Healthcare professionals:  If you observe this behavior, remind family caregivers that they should seek the loved one’s permission before sharing.  Talk to them about HIPPA, confidentiality, as well as respecting the dignity of their loved ones.  Suggest that they consider more private ways to share information such as www.lotsofhelpinghands.org.

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Why You Need to Buy Into the Age Diversity Movement – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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My most requested keynote title for healthcare conferences is called Navigating Communication With Different Generations: Reducing Drama And Conflict In Healthcare.  Why?  I believe it’s because many of us still haven’t bought into the concept that generational affiliation is just another way we are diverse.  Does generational affiliation define anyone?  No!  But it does influence how we think and communicate.  This goes for patients, caregivers and colleagues in the healthcare workplace.

Another reason healthcare professionals are hungry for this discussion is because a large percentage are reporting that they themselves or others in their organization are experiencing ageism or reverse ageism.  Each time I provide this keynote, I poll the audience ahead of time.  I have not encountered an audience where this was not an issue.  If healthcare professionals feel ageism and reverse ageism from colleagues and managers, I can’t imagine that this doesn’t also impact our patients and their caregivers.

If you want to reduce drama and conflict in your healthcare workplace while providing better service to patients and clients, consider the acronym AGE.  Accept that generational diversity is part of what makes all of us unique.  Get real about your biases.  Many of us have bias against another generation.  Try to work through it and understand it.  If you stereotype a generation, educate yourself about the facts.  Finally, Expect commonalities among persons who are Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z.  Just know that generation doesn’t totally define them.

If your organization could benefit from a deeper dive into this topic, check out this page:  http://jenerationshealth.com/keynotes/

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

 

 

Why We Need To Stop Thinking It’s OK To Bash Millennials – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Author Jennifer FitzPatrick and her husband Sean (Generation X) and Jen’s fabulous Millennial cousins and their Millennial significant others.

Can you imagine bashing someone of another race, religion or sexual orientation at work?  I sure hope not.  So why do some organizations sit by and allow their employees to bash persons based on their age?

Recently a team of Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers told me about a “problem employee” in their workplace.  They went on to describe this employee’s behavior as unprofessional, overly emotional, reactive, and self-centered.  When they offered examples to support these claims, I couldn’t help but agree that they certainly had a problem on their hands.  But I was floored when one member of this team said, “You know, he’s the typical Millennial.”  And then her boss nodded in agreement.

Huh?

The behavior the team described was certainly concerning.  Frankly, it sounded to me like the employee likely had traits consistent with an untreated personality disorder.  But typical of a Millennial?  No.

Millennials are simply a generation.  Sure, as a demographic they may seek work-life balance, telecommuting options and change jobs more frequently than other generations.  But they are most certainly not known to be destructive in the workplace.

If your organization is age-stereotyping—or worse, generation-bashing, what steps can you take today to be more inclusive?  Better understanding generations at work offers many benefits including increased productivity, profits and morale.

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Different Generations, Different Ideas About How To Care For Grandma

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Most people acknowledge that our gender, race and religion shape how we view life experiences. Our generation is just one additional way we are diverse—and it impacts the way we view healthcare, aging and caregiving. So even when a family has quite a bit in common, a family of different generations will frequently have different ideas about “what’s best.”

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