Happy Birthday to Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog! Welcome to a cyberspace blog birthday party hosted by me, Frances Shani Parker. For 10 years, my blog and I have been advocates for person-centered eldercare, hospice-palliative care, excellent nursing homes, and quality in older adults’ lives. There’s an African proverb that says, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try spending the night in a closed room with a mosquito.” Committed to the belief that a writer and a blog can make positive changes, our goal is to open eyes of hearts and minds with inspirational words that rise from places inside.
The first post of Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog was published on Sunday, January 28, 2007. Titled “State of New Orleans and the Elderly after Hurricane Katrina," it addressed the tragedy that began on August 2005 when broken levees submerged the city in catastrophic floodwaters. Supporting suffering families and rebuilding the city continued to be major problems. Most of the hundreds of people who died as a result of this historical disaster were over 60 years old.
Posts from this blog present universal information enhanced with stories, poems, research, images, and videos. Included are the often-missing voices of people of color and marginalized populations. Through the years, blog progress has been enhanced by various revisions and by "village” support. Comments from other healthcare advocates, patients, caregivers, volunteers, policy makers, and the general public are welcome. They add enlightening layers by bringing diverse readers’ views to the discussions.
The vast majority of readers comment through social media discussion groups where we explore our common interests in particular subjects. Topics cover eldercare, hospice, nursing homes, caregiving, dementia, death, bereavement, aging, and older adult life. Sometimes lively exchanges go on for days with most of us not knowing one another, but still sewn together with invisible Internet threads. Comments at this blog site add bonus reader insights that hold hands with immediate blog information.
Occasionally, remarks come in the form of heartwarming compliments. Examples are “That’s an intellectual inspiration,” "Thank you for speaking for us,” and one that just appeared this morning from a distressed caregiver stating, “God is using you in mighty ways!” These appreciated word bouquets make my blog blush.
The years keep ending and beginning, and now it's 2017. I can hardly believe my blog is 10 years old. (They grow up so fast!) Thank you for dropping by to celebrate today. Most of all, thank you for all the times you have visited this blog, tasted its life and death spices, and savored its bitter sweetness as we affirm oneness with others, make sense of nonsense, and evolve.
Wow, it's time for the birthday song! Join me in commemorating this milestone with a song sponsored by the American Cancer Society and sung by singer, actress, and spokesperson Jennifer Hudson. After the song, we'll continue to eat, drink, and let the good times roll! As always, I wish you happy endings!
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.