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I just attended a webinar on how to make issues associated with caregiving go viral. Ideas anybody? With November as National Family Caregivers month in November, there is a campaign to bring issues to many that are clueless. Post your ideas, I will pass them on, negative stories as well as positive ones are welcome. But, I am thinking more a shock factor and I am mulling over how I might tell my story. Facebook is the most often used platform for stories going viral.

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I think the best bet is a book. A in-the-face expose about what actually goes on behind the pretty label of "family caregiving". Something that will be read by someone other than other family caregivers. Something controversial enough to merit appearances on "Ellen" and "Dr. Phil" or whoever the leading lights of talk TV may be when it comes out.
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Glad, I've thought on this topic a lot. As parent of autistic son, I can tell you that a high profile person can make a huge difference (ie Michael J Fox Parkinsons, Doug Flutie/Jack Welch GE CEO for autism). If a high profile person had to change their schedule to provide one-on-one care instead of being able to afford to pay someone else to provide the care, it might get attention. If you had a reality show with caregivers being abused, it might get attention (but then everyone would scream about elder's rights or laugh uncomfortably or root for the dementor). The problem arises from the media's portrayal of dementia as either amusing cast members (Cloris Leachman in a series of inappropriate ) or terrified victims. The film Still Alice was fabulous - but how many people outside the caregiver community or Julianne Moore fans saw it before the Academy Awards? And how many people posting on here have family and friends who argue "not yet" or "not my mom/dad/aunt/grandma"? One Big Difference with autism support? Much directed at kids - help through school system - no one is arguing that the kid "should have saved for retirement or bought long term care". Parkinson's is not seen as a disease that is brought on self. Lung cancer has less funding but a higher mortality rate. Why? Because it is seen as a smoker's disease that is self-driven. NFL and NCAA discussions of head injuries has brought Traumatic Brain Injury to light. Have a reality show that offers caregivers a week's respite while they compete to stay in a nice place or get parents care fully covered like the Great Race. Have the persons getting respite be profiled and the reality of what they are getting respite for be on national TV. Americans love competition - who can change Grandma's briefs fastest - find the best deal online for a lift chair - transfer wheelchair bound person into car fastest (look at the game shows)....
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Guest, maybe by the time they go into care they will be so sick themselves, they will not notice the decline aging causes all around them.
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Don't tell my husband but that does worry me about his parents. They are so enmeshed and have so many co-morbid conditions (strokes/COPD/cancer and Parkinsons/Cancer) that at some point they won't be able to "take care of each other". He and his brother will have to find someplace for them to live together at that point and both parents don't "want to live around those sick old people".
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I read that after glad posted the link. I had missed Marlis's last three posts, although I am following her. I figured out because it is posted under AC, so probably didn't show up in my news feed. I hope she is okay. I know she misses Charlie.
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Caregiving Decisions can be Heartbreaking - Marlis' last post. Charlie has gone to live with his daughter to get a higher level of care since Marlis can't keep him with her anymore.
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Yes, those are them. I always love reading Marlis.
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Marlis is writing a blog for AC, are those the tales you are talking about?
https://www.agingcare.com/Members/MarlisPowers
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Or maybe Marlis and Charlie! Where have they been? I miss reading Marlis's tales. She is the caregiver I wish I could be.
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Maybe make politicians and many others realize what is happening. Talked about was the element of shock. I am going to ask if they have ideas on how to share my crazy story. I would love to find a screenwriter, maybe a 60 minutes documentary would be better.
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I have been giving this some thought. I think you would have to have a touching human interest story with a picture to make it go viral. Something that I find sad is that I can put a cute picture or video of a puppy on Facebook and it will be shared. If I post something about old people or elder health I might get a like or two, but no sharing. Maybe it's because people like to think of cute puppies, but they don't like to think about aging. How do we change this mindset?

Did the webinar mention what benefits might come from caregiving going viral? Maybe make politicians care more?
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