FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
/ Four P's Plus One/
In each welcoming speech at our Fearless
Caregiver Conferences, I always practice a bit of
crystal-ball foretelling of the future. In truth,
there is one single event that I can forecast will
happen that day and my prediction always comes true.
I start off by thanking in advance the attendee who
will write my next newsletter column. Or at least
they give me the idea of what to write. This
one is in fact such a column.
During the morning question and answer session,
Bobbie and I endeavor to race around the conference
room with microphones in hand to quickly reach the
attendees as they raise their hands signaling their
interest in asking a question. This is great
fun and much-needed exercise (at least for me).
As the session was wrapping up this past week in
Palm Beach Gardens, a gentleman stood up at the far
end of my side of the room, he waved me off from
bringing over the microphone stating in a booming
voice, “I don’t think I will need that.” He was
correct. He stood in response to some of the
previous questions and comments from attendees about
their challenges of dealing with customer service
representatives by phone at various healthcare and
even government organizations.
His point was that when speaking with these
representatives, we are the advocates for our loved
ones and need to recognize ourselves as
professionals. The people on the other end of the
phone talk with many countless people everyday who
call in breathless, angry and unprepared to
communicate their needs. He stated that the best way
to get what you need is by being:
I fully agree with this gentleman. If you are not
confident and prepared to make your case, how can
they even know where to begin to help you?
Your persistence makes the difference between
accepting an automatic “No” or “Sorry, it’s not done
that way” and getting the help you need. Your
professionalism is mandatory in any caregiving
situation and not to be too syrupy but “a spoon full
of sugar” does go a long way in making your loved
one’s situation stand out from the bickering crowd.
I would make one small yet important addition to
the list of P’s: Pushy. Three little
words that can go a long way to success are “Who’s