Dementia Beyond Drugs: Inspiration for Family Caregivers

September 7, 2010
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Episode Description

Dr Al Power, MD, is author of ‘Dementia Beyond Drugs: Changing the Culture of Care’. Sarah Rowan is the ‘Heart Whisperer’ who lives the belief of family caregiving. They analyze current medical approaches to dementia and the problems these create, especially for family caregivers. They examine the consequences of the medical use of medications for families and family caregivers. They discuss quality of life issues for the family members with dementia and for family caregivers. They identify the changes they believe are necessary to improve on the current approach to dementia. They explore alternative approaches and the implications for family caregivers whose family members are living at home or in a care facility. They discuss the solutions that are designed from the new approaches, and what these mean for family caregivers. The talk about harnessing Social Capital, of which family caregiving is an important part, as a way implementing the solutions they advocate.

Family Caregivers Unite!

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.

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Dr. Gordon Atherley

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.

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