Authors Talking About Family Caregiving

December 7, 2010
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Episode Description

Lynda Simmons and James Krehbiel are both authors of books about health conditions that involve family caregiving. They talk about the books they’ve written and the ways these reflect aspects of family caregiving. They describe how their own perspectives on family caregiving influence their writing. James discusses his most recent book, ‘Troubled Childhood, Triumphant Life’, which explores circumstances where family caregiving hasn’t worked well. Lynda talks about her most recent book, ‘Island Girl’, a work of fiction about inevitable decline towards the end of life, and explains the role for family caregiving as she portrays it in her book. They both describe the reader whom they had in their mind’s eye when they wrote their last books. They explore the way family caregivers who’ve travelled the hard road of family caregiving turn around and offer help to family caregivers starting out on the road. They tell us about the changes they’d like to see in support for family caregivers.

Family Caregivers Unite!

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.

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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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