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So wotcha think about the New Members - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

So wotcha think about the New Members

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
101 posts
Personally I think new members should be warmly welcomed but the welcome should be relevant to their post, so if they post about their role and yours has similarities you say, for instance
'Hi, my (insert caree relationship) has (whatever) too', otherwise just 'Hi and welcome etc.'
Or if they post about a particular problem provide an appropriate answer without bombarding them with your own circumstances or indeed benefits unless that's what they asked for.
It can take an awful lot of courage (or desperation!) to make the first post and however much you've looked before you leaped it's the replies to your post that are your real first impression of whether this is really for you or not.
Totally agree. A welcome to the Forum is just the start, sometimes a kind word is all someody needs at a time of stress, you don't need to be bogged down with problems/solutions from others, that can come later Image
To be fair to us all though, sometimes, we can be talking about a condition in reply to a post and our thoughts just "run away with themselves" and what started out as a short and sweet welcome post ends up being a lecture (I'm more guilty than most for doing this).

With that said, it can be just as nice to read a post where someone - anyone can just relate to what you are going through right now... sometimes, that is what I crave the most when I come here. Sure, I know that no one can solve everything for me but a simple "I know how that feels" can be just as nice when you are nearing the end of the tether.

Then there are those new members that post detailed posts asking for advice... a simple "Welcome to the forum" reply could also put them off posting here again.
In my case lack of posting and getting involved I think may be to do with age difference. Most people on here, forgive me but seem to be 'middle aged' looking after older parents, a partner, or children. I'm 24 and my caree, my mum, is 'middle aged'. On here we have being a carer in common but it's a little harder to find anything else in common. I've found this at my local carer support group too, they have one for young carers (people still in school) and one for everyone else but it's seems aimed at older carers especially when it comes to day trips. Next month's trip is a river boat cruise with cream teas and the following a ceramics class, not my thing at all. The forum is great for getting advice when needed though Image
All good answers (as usual!) but I would hate to see Holly's post slip through the net. There are probably many, many more carers like her than we tend to think about, myself included,and probably an issue that affects ALL forums and carers groups out there. What could we do, if anything, to address the problem? Holly..help!! What can carers organisations do to support people in yours and similar situations?
we have a few younger people on the forum, who are looking after a parent.
As a one-time "regular" I find myself agreeing with Audrey, Myrtle and Deborah.

For what it is worth, and it is probably not worth a lot, I believe that to assume, based on a first post, that one's personal experience is inevitably relevant to most if not all other carers is to deny the diversity of individual carers, individual carees and individual circumstances and can result in irrelevant and inappropriate responses which can be off-putting to someone who may have needed courage to make that first post.

Whilst personal experience can on occasions be useful, reading other members' posts and learning from their experiences as well as making sure that one's knowledge base is up to date is frequently more useful than simply drawing on personal experience when attempting to provide suggestions for possible solutions to problems and it is important to recognise that not every new member is asking for help but is simply introducing themselves so telling them how to find help or change their lives is not required. If one knows very little about the individual and their circumstances and is lacking in any relevant knowledge it is probably better to just welcome and do no more which is what the majority of members do.

I think that it is also important to recognise that some new members post for the first time in desperation when they are finding caring particularly challenging but still have love for and loyalty towards the person for whom they care and criticising the person for whom they care and on occasion suggesting that they leave can be extremely unhelpful, in fact it was the realisation that if I bit my tongue one more time I would need a tongue transplant that made me decide to no longer post on the board when I did Image .
It's such a difficult area because everyone is different and has different needs. For some, a softly softly approach is vital, while for others a full on blast works best. In that respect it's the same in carers centres and in forums - people are people, whether communicating face to face or on a forum.

It's easier to get wrong on a forum. Forum text doesn't do subtle intonations, so a hint of sarcasm doesn't convey - and changes the meaning of what we intended to write. And, of course, it's hard to judge what's real, what's true...It's also easy to "swamp" someone - overload them with lots of advice, long posts giving details of our own lives. Sometimes it's just too much.

In fact, I'd say it's getting better. While Faceache and other social media have taken over to some extent, this forum is still pretty busy: I know some forums where posting happens once or twice a month. This one - well if you've left it for a week, set aside a whole day if you want to read everything! And we are keeping more and more members. Yes, we do lose a lot too - and any ideas that will help to keep a higher retention rate can only be a good thing!

Maybe we need to take the advice of the old bull...take things a little slower...

[quote]Two bulls in a field - one old, one young. In the next field is a herd of cows. The young bull says]

Basically, I guess it's about maybe sharing experiences in a way that leaves people wanting more!
I think Holly raises a very valid point about things for carers who aren't children or elderly. I may be 60 now but became a full time carer at 27, with the birth of my son with LD. Carers groups in my area, which has one of the largest populations of elderly in the UK, are inevitably attended by people focussed on caring for the elderly. Even now, at 60, I'm usually the baby of the group if I do go! Those organising carers meetings forget that some have young children. Afternoon and evening meetings inevitably mean that mums with children cannot attend. There could be many carers like Holly who need support both online, and at local level.
I think Holly can easily access advice & information relevant to her situation but her real need is friendship/chat with people in her age group to talk about things they are interested in.
Would it be possible for a forum to be set up for her needs Image
Over to you Charles Image
I'm wondering if anyone else can come up with a really catchy name for a new group (assuming one is set up of course)? I don't have much of an imagination - all I can come up with is The Young Ones, which isn't a good name, although I enjoyed the film.
A 'catchy name' dreamt up by pensioners isnt going to appeal to younger members on the forum Image
101 posts