Bon Jovi-Singing, Facebook-Using Grandmas: Rethinking Social Media Schemas

flickr: ReneS

My family gathered at my sister’s house for Thanksgiving. My sister is seven years older than I am, and the first of the sisters to become a grandmother. Her granddaughter is nearly 2 years old (and adorable!), and watching them together expanded my schema of what a grandmother is.

The term schema in cognitive learning theory was introduced by Jean Piaget and refers to our preconceived ideas about a topic or subject. When we learn new things, our schema expands.

For example, as a child, we may have thought water was only a liquid to drink. But if someone melted an ice cube in front of us and we saw it turn to water, we would gain a new understanding about water–it can take on a different physical property (it can freeze). Through that experience, our knowledge (schema) about water expanded. Read more

e-Sisters; Seeking Care for the Aging

I used to listen to the Satellite Sisters on the weekends when I shuttled my kids to and from their activities.

It’s a radio talk show hosted by five sisters (yes, they really are sisters) spread across the globe. Admittedly targeted toward a female audience, they’ve always reminded me of the relationship with my sisters–easy and open and close–although spread out geographically.

This week I felt a bit like a Satellite Sister. I had merged my sisters’ calls on my iPhone – one incoming from California one incoming near Chicago. Our focus of the conference call was to find answers about mom’s condition. Read more

Backless Robe Theory: A Lens for Successful Social Media Strategy

flickr: robtxgal

Okay, Backless Robe Theory isn’t an official theory … but maybe it should be.  I’ve been around long enough to know that practitioners don’t always embrace theory, but lately, I find myself re-visiting theory as a precursor to planning effective social media strategy.

One theory that is particularly interesting to consider when strategizing healthcare social media is Standpoint Theory. Standpoint Theory places importance on the place (standpoint) from which we view the world, and makes the following assumptions: Read more

Bagpipes…Another Reason to Open Hospital Social Media

flickr: vigil246

My elderly mother has had many health challenges lately. With a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s and dementia – both her mobility and memory are compromised.

She lives in another state, and communicating with her has been increasingly challenging. She has trouble putting together coherent sentences, so she avoids the phone.

A few weeks ago my colleague blogged about piano-playing octogenarians at Mayo Clinic, and then a week later I saw a tweet about Kent Alexander’s beautiful voice. As I listened to Kent sing Amazing Grace I got goose bumps, and I thought of my mom who loves Amazing Grace, especially on the bagpipes. Read more