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We recently had the good fortune to share an hour with Donna Thomson in our first Tyze webinar. Donna has been using Tyze since it was first launched in 2009 and has a unique understanding of what it takes to ‘make it work’. If you didn’t get the chance to join the webinar, you can view the presentation at your leisure. Click here to hear the webinar. Here are a few ideas and tips that were shared in the webinar. Be sure to keep an eye our here for the announcement of our next webinar coming in Fall. Tyze networks are purposeful Like any new tool, network members may not use Tyze to its potential at first. Ensuring that vital information is kept on Tyze and not easily accessible on other platforms such as email will encourage network members to rely on Tyze as the communication hub for their loved one.  Donna put staff schedules in Tyze, so caregivers had to check to know when they were working. Using Tyze soon became habit. Make Tyze the one room for communication and information Putting everyone in one room (a Tyze network) enables an ongoing conversation with everyone involved.  Communication breakdowns can occur when conversations take place amongst individuals and are not shared with others in the network.  Sharing in ‘one room’ ensures everyone is working with the same information.   Photos and stories are bait for a hungry network Planning for life events, both medical and social through updates and stories can be turned into task lists. “If we organize an outing for Nicholas to go to a hockey game with his uncle, it’s easy to announce this and post a task for the group to problem solve wheelchair transportation for that evening.”  Donna T. Keep the narrative of daily activity going in a diary style.  From the diary, tasks and roles/responsibilities will reveal themselves. Trying to come up with task lists is much harder without the diary. Actively acknowledging the contribution of others is critical Witnessing thanks is a powerful motivator, especially in a good environment. Having everyone be witness to thanks is team building and more powerful than individual thanks.  More Ideas  
  • Be active in encouraging others to post messages, stories and photos. If someone on the network is going away on holiday, ask the member to post photos of the trip.
  • Share a list about the things you need help with – update it frequently. Asking for help can be one of the hardest things to do. Don’t forget that people have joined the network to pitch in, they just might need a suggestion for how to go about it. Spend time thinking about what it means to others to be able to help.
  • It does work both ways – if you are a network member, share a list of things you can do and consider forward planning. Let the network know that you will be grocery shopping on Saturday and can pick up items, find a regular time to take your friend’s dog for a walk or look after the kids; Let the network members know you have a car and are happy to pitch in with transportation or that you love to cook and would be happy to drop off a hot meal on certain nights.
  • Think of it this way – if Facebook is like a cocktail party, Tyze is a family dinner and to you this may mean that it’s more intimate and personal.
  • Remember – Tyze helps facilitate what happen offline – it’s a tool that helps people coordinate, communicate and support each other.
  Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions. Here’s a review of one of them.   Q. How do I talk to health professionals (e.g. Doctors) about joining a Tyze network?  
  1. First, it’s important to know how you want your health professionals to be involved in the network. Take some time to think about this and write down your thoughts, remembering time and resource considerations, the value to you and the value for them.
  2. Once you have a clear outline, talk to your health professionals about joining your network. Be clear about why and how they will be involved.
  3. Let them know that there are steps that make it easy for them to participate. For example, notification settings can be changed to limit the number of emails received, posts can be general health information only (i.e. no personal health information to protect privacy).
  4. They can come on and off the network, participate for a week as needed and then jump off.

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