Dancing and Dementia

December 14, 2010
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Bob Smith, a retired firefighter now a full-time family caregiver for his wife, and Dr Alexa Roggeveen , a leading researcher, discuss the ways dance helps persons with dementia and their family caregivers. Bob talks about his wife’s health condition and the challenges it creates for them both. Dr Alexa describes the dance classes. They both talk about their experiences with the dance classes, how they help family caregivers and their family members, and how they led to Dr Alexa’s new research into dementia. They both discuss the new research, and say why it is so interesting and important for family caregivers caring for someone with dementia, among other health conditions. Bob says what makes the sun shine for him as a family caregiver. Dr Alexa says what makes the sun shine for her as a researcher involved with family caregivers. They both say what they would like to see done so that dancing classes are extended to and made affordable for more family caregivers in North America.

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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