Monday, January 16, 2012

91% of caregivers use Facebook

“91% of caregivers are using Facebook another 29% are using blogging sites …”
OMG I’m a tribal elder! While Facebook celebrates its 8th birthday next month, I’ve been a spouse caregiver longer than there has been Facebook or even Google, longer than smart phones, matter of fact - longer than either cell phones or home PCs. Telephones had cords and neighbors would leave hand written notes in the door, “going to grocery store this afternoon, call if you need something.”
“… This provides a unique opportunity for marketers trying to sell healthcare products and services generally targeted to caregivers or for those trying to build goodwill from a Pharma corporate standpoint.” 
A century and a half ago Edgar Alan Poe asked, “Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?” – Is today all that we see or seem but an opportunity to sell?

That’s a helluva a lot of people reaching out into cyberspace to try and find others like themselves, or trying to juggle the shrinking time for research or simply staying in touch as caregiving isolates.

Shouldn’t such phenomenal usage statistics be a unique opportunity for sharing and caring rather than marketing? Or am I simply naïve?

Through 22 years of spouse caregiving and juggling basically single parenting I’ve marveled in awe of the technological and scientific advancements of those two decades.

Yet also wondered why there are still so many caregivers? Why does Patti still have MS? Whatever happened to dreaming of things that never were, and asking why not? What if … we focused instead on ‘reducing’ the need for and cost of Big Pharma, health care products and services?

Am I the only one who finds it more than strange that the last time a disease (Polio) was defeated was before the computer age?

In a society where each day more people walk around staring into smart phones and walk right into Patti’s wheelchair, I am left wondering about the odds of hope for all that we see or seem to ever be all it could be. 

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 


  1. Social media and the internet are great ways to keep an eye on the ones we love. With the increase and access to technology, we will see more and more care providers using online methods.

  2. I wonder what the motivation is to "cure" MS. Pharma makes more money "managing" it. AND there is a trickle down effect from not curing MS as well. Hate to be crass but you know it's true.

    The same could be said for many other chronic diseases. Like you said...polio was defeated.

    And so was small pox.

    1. Amen! As long as profit motivates US healthcare who wouldn't be suspicious about 'managing' vs 'curing'.


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