Cards to Burst Barriers in Parkinson Disease

October 26, 2010
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Episode Description

Joel Gerstel is the Executive Director of the American Parkinson Disease Association. Barbara Snelgrove is Director of Education and Support Services with Parkinson Society Canada. They discuss the notification card for travellers with Parkinson disease developed by the American Association and the medications card produced by the Canadian Society. They explain the challenges that people with Parkinson disease experience when they travel. They explain the perspectives of the transportation security authorities in the US and Canada, and discuss what the cards do and don’t do. They talk about the way cards could be used by family caregivers. They identify the importance of what they term sensitivity on the part of security personnel. And they share ideas for a notification card system that would be internationally recognized for travellers whose health conditions are not obvious but which nevertheless can cause them problems during travel and even in accessing hospitals.

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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