Mastodon Mastodon

Creating a permanent contact page for your parents

I’ve spent the last four years managing my dad’s life after a serious of health crises.

He died recently, and I’ve been trying to contact his friends and old colleagues, many of which haven’t been able to stay in touch.

That’s because his life changed suddenly in 2020. We had to abruptly move him into an assisted living facility, he stopped checking his email, and he lost his phone, which was where he kept updated phone numbers.

We posted updates on Facebook and responded to email messages for the next few months. But many of his friends didn’t use Facebook, or didn’t happen to email during the time we were actively monitoring his email account. So they never knew what happened to him, or how to get a hold of him.

You can guard against this common problem by adding a permanent page on your own website (you have a website, right?) for each of your parents. Have their friends save that webpage in their address book entry for your parents. That way, if those friends ever have trouble getting a hold of them, they can simply visit the webpage and contact you for updated information.

Here’s the page for my mom, which will always live at

Some suggestions:

  • Go buy a domain name right now—they’re cheap and you should own your own identity online. I recommend sticking to something related to your name that you can keep forever, even as a simple flag in the ground. If you want a free and easy blog, check out Bear or one of these options instead.
  • Keep the URL simple. I suggest using or /dad.
  • Have your parents send out a message to all the folks they’d want to be able to contact them if all their contact information suddenly changed one day. Have those people save the URL in their address book
  • You don’t need to publish actual contact information on the page. Just provide a way to contact you, and you can pass along any update or contact information.
  • I also include a sentence summary of where they’re living and how they’re doing, and will update it when major changes happens.

Leave a Reply