A Twitter Chat: Why Should Caregivers and People with Chronic Illness Participate?

Caregiver, patient expert

Thursday, November 12, 2015, HealthCentral -  via their @health_tips Twitter handle- will host a day long Twitter Takeover. This takeover will use the hashtag #chroniclife. The discussion is for people with chronic illness; caregivers for people of all ages; people with Alzheimer’s or any type of dementia or those caring for someone with any type of dementia; hospice care providers and those who use hospice for their comforting end-of-life services. In other words, the gathering is for just about anyone who has a concern about health or caregiving.By signing on to Twitter and using #chroniclife on Thursday, we can share tips, blow off steam, ask questions, answer questions, make friends and find people whom we’d like to follow. We can provide information and receive information. We can simply interact with people who understand what we’re coping with.During one special hour - 2 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT), by using the hashtag #chroniclifechat, you can join organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of American, the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, the National Hospice Foundation, the Cargiver Action Network and countless caregiving, hospice and Alzheimer’s bloggers to focus on those particular topics. However, the #chroniclife hashtag conversation continues throughout the day.

Not on Twitter?

I know. It’s one more thing to do. However, if you haven’t tried the Twitter way of networking for health and support this is your time.

It’s easy to set up an account. Just think of a fun “handle.” Mine is @mindingourelder since my business, my book, my column and practically my life are all Minding Our Elders. However, you’ll also find @DanielCPotts, @NP4Caregiving, @childepression1, @ahandtoholdsd, @AwareSeniorCare - and we hope yourname(nickname?) as well as scores of other interesting and interested people.

Once signed in, you can simply type #chroniclife in the search box and you are there. The hard part is keeping your comments to 140 characters. Forget being proper with punctuation and even spelling – what's important is getting the message across. Type #chroniclife before your comments or (#chroniclifechat for the special chat portion).

If you play with Twitter for awhile before the chat you’ll see that there are people to follow (start with @healthcentral, @health_tips and @mindingourelder and your got three friends. We’ll follow you back.Share. Complain. Encourage. Express love or frustration. You’ll quickly get into the swing. We’ll start the day off with a question and follow throughout with other questions so that you’ll have starting points. You can also ask your own questions.I hope to see you there. It’s important that those of us who live with chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia, arthritis, MS, migraine, dementia and other health issues – or provide care for people who do – to have a voice. I’d love to see this voice trend on Twitter. See you November 12th at #chroniclife!

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