Special Skills Dogs and Family Caregiving
June 29, 2010
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Jerry Ford has Lilo, his special skills dog guide. Rhonda Workman is Head Trainer for Hearing Ear Dogs and Special Skills Dogs of Canada, Lions Foundation of Canada. Jerry describes his experience with his disability and what led him to get Lilo. He explains how Lilo helps him and those around him with his challenges, and the things that Lilo does that make the sun shine for him. Rhonda describes her work with Dog Guides Canada in training special skills dogs. She explains the types of challenges that the special skills dogs are trained to help with. She discusses the typical questions that she is asked by people who have disability-related challenges, or their families, who are considering a special skills dog. She tells us about the things that make the sun shine for her when she works with a team such as Jerry and Lilo. Together, Jerry and Lilo explore the things that should be done to bring more special skills dogs to help more people with disability related challenges.
Family Caregivers Unite!
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
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.