Thank you for supporting the community by lending your ear, your time, and your experience!
The ultimate goal is to keep this a space where people can freely share their experience and get support.
There will always be more posts in the queue, new member requests, and more comments. You do not need to login to Facebook just to help moderate. It’s always okay to be busy, need a break, or just not be in the mood to moderate.
Deciding whether or not to approve a post
We require posts to be approved to keep our community safe from advertising and spam. You can always refer to our community guidelines. Most posts are clearly okay or not okay, but sometimes it’s less clear-cut.
When you’re not sure, ask yourself:
- Is this starting or continuing a conversation?
- When someone mentions their book / product / service / company, are they sharing something that’s going on in their life or are they selling us something?
- Is this event relevant and accessible to a global community of people providing care? Is it intended to support caregivers or is it about the care recipient? Is it organized by an organization that views care as intersectional or does it employ a viewpoint only applicable to a tiny sliver of our community?
- Is someone sharing a lesson or tip they’ve learned because they are so excited about it they want to let others know or does it feel like they’re trying to sell us something?
- Are they talking about their own faith experience or telling other people what they should believe?
- Does this post share private information that might get someone in trouble? While the groups are private, it’s still best to not post personal contact information or something that might get a PCA/HHA/etc fired
- Is this post telling us how to prevent, diagnose, or treat a disease? Then it’s not relevant
- Is this post demeaning to people who need or provide care? eg. perseverance porn, “overcoming” disabilities
- If a post might stir up controversy or debate, please let the other moderators know so we can keep an eye on the comments.
- Trust your judgement and if you’re not sure, just leave it in the queue
If someone who is grieving submits a post telling current caregivers to be grateful for every moment, please delete the comment and direct them to the After Caregiving group.
While we want to support research into care work, our private groups are a place for conversations about care work. Researchers are welcome to participate in our community as individuals, just as we welcome anyone else who has experience providing care, but not to use information from the groups in their work or recruit research participants.
Please go ahead and delete: job posts, disease awareness posts, fundraisers, local events, advertising and research requests.
Being the first to comment
One of the perks to manually approving posts is that moderators always have the opportunity to be the first to comment. The first comment a post get often sets the tone. When you’re concerned that a post might stir up controversy or debate, starting off the thread with a supportive comment can do wonders.
- Validate: Recognize and acknowledge difficult emotions, thoughts, experiences. Remind caregivers they have a right to feel how they feel. You don’t have to agree with someone to recognize their humanity. Be yourself and be kind.
- Listen: Often times, just having a space to share is enough. Many posts aren’t asking for advice, they’re asking to feel heard and understood.
- Speak from your experience: The poster is the expert in their own life. Unless you have concrete suggestions based on personal experience, let other caregivers offer advice. Please encourage people to consult a medical professional before making any medical decisions.
- Encourage kindness: When someone is in a crisis they are often unable to tap into their empathy and problem solving skills. Many people share their negative or complicated feelings in the group because it’s a safe space, where they can share these things without being judged. Remember that what someone is saying is often how they feel in this particular moment and not a reflection of who they are or what they are doing.
When moderating comments
We don’t actively monitor every comment, but as active members of the group we read many of the comments.
Other members can flag a comment for moderator review and we set up keyword alerts to help us catch comments that may be unkind or spam. Please let us know if you think of a keyword alert that would be helpful.
- Advice is great when it’s been requested. Unsolicited advice can make people feel ignored and misunderstood
- Promotion is fine when it’s relevant. People love helpful book/product/service recommendations
- Cursing and strong language is fine when it’s conversational and not directed towards someone else in the group
While every caregiver is entitled to share their own experience (however negative), you may occasionally encounter caregivers who are overtly aggressive or inappropriate (violent or sexually explicit language, spam) in what they share. You can:
- Remote the member from the group
- Delete the post/comment and message the member to see if they’re okay and help them re-frame their post if you have time and are willing to do this
- Delete the post/comment and let the other moderators know so we can handle it
You might want to share the community guidelines with a member. However, we all respond more favorably to people who express concern and empathy rather than chiding us for breaking the rules. Everyone is here because we’re looking for support and community. People aren’t “toxic” or “trolls,” look for the person behind the problematic behavior. Many people respond well when we reach out and connect with them and set boundaries. If they don’t, we can remove them from the group.
Deciding whether or not to approve a request for membership
It’s hard to predict who’s going to try to spam our group or stir up trouble!
- Remember that many people don’t identify with the “caregiver” label, even though they provide care, and don’t share any public information about their care experience
- Most people who become caregiving professionals have personal care work experience as well. Even if they don’t, we want to support professional caregivers as well as family caregivers
- Sometimes Facebook doesn’t show the member questions or the checkbox to agree to the rules, depending on how they’re using Facebook (phone, tablet, laptop) or how they found the group (search, sidebar, invitation from another member)
- Remember that it’s easy to remove people from the group
- Trust your judgement and if you’re not sure, just leave them in the queue
Appropriate Language Use
It’s perfectly acceptable for caregivers to use strong language or curse to express how they’re feeling. It is not acceptable to direct any swears at any other members (including you, the moderator).
Sex acts and sexual information comes up, especially in the spousal care group. Sex is a part of the human experience and we want to keep this a safe space to discuss how the caregiver role, disability, stress, etc. change our sex lives.
Sex acts also come up regularly when discussing people with various cognitive impairments. We encourage discussions on how to manage inappropriate sexual behavior by the people we care for. We also encourage discussions on how to ensure people who need care have their full humanity respected, including their sexuality. These are complex and challenging conversations and they’re important.
Trust your judgement. When someone joins the group and immediately starts posting spam or being unkind, it’s easy to decide to remove them. When an active member posts something unkind or questionable, you may know they’re just having a bad day and don’t need anyone to explain the guidelines to them.
Posts to delete and potentially reach out to the member or remove them
“Get the f*** out of my face, I don’t need your advice!”
“Everyone is so stupid here! Why doesn’t anyone f***ing care about what I’m saying?!”
Posts to delete and remove the member
“New handbags direct from warehouse, save 20-50% Click here!”
“Apply now for caregiver jobs!”
Responding to dire circumstances
If someone posts or comments about ending their lives, harming themselves, or harming someone else, it’s not your job to fix the situation. Please encourage the poster to reach out to an organization that can provide them with immediate support.
A sample message to use: “_______, it sounds like you’re really overwhelmed with what’s on your plate and I want you to know that I care about your well being. I imagine talking to someone right now would do a world of good. Would you consider calling a hotline? (800) 273-8255”
You may or may not know where the member is located. Unfortunately, every country has a different crisis hotline:
- In Canada: call 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645 for Crisis Services Canada. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 686-868.
- In the US: call 1-800-273-8255 for the US Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line.
- Outside of the US and Canada: visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention or Befriender’s Worldwide for global support.