Professionals with significant disabilities: balancing health, caregiving and career
April 6, 2010
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dan Thompson and Dr. JR Harding are successful professionals. Both have significant disabilities. For them, balancing health, caregiving and career is their continuing challenge. They describe how they overcome it, day by day, hour by hour. They explain what a significant disability is and what it means to them personally. They talk about their professional lives, how they work, and how their work helps others with significant disabilities. What got them started in their careers? What things gave them the greatest challenges? What things now give them the most job satifaction, and why these generate so much satisfaction? What advice do they have for people with significant disabilities who want to have their own businesses? They talk about caregiving they depend on. How it is organized and by whom: who provides it. And then they share with us their vision for the future for persons with significant disabilities who want to succeed in balancing health, caregiving and career.
Family Caregivers Unite!
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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.
Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.
Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.