Grandparents as Family Caregivers

January 25, 2011
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

   

Episode Description

Bev Mahone and Pat Montgomery, experienced broadcasters, writers and journalists, are also grandparent family caregivers. They explain how grandparent caregiving has affected their lives and ways of thinking about caregiving. They talk about the grandparent family caregivers they hear from and the challenges these grandparents face including law, rights and red tape, and financial and health challenges. They discuss the questions they are asked and the advice they offer. They describe the blockages that prevent grandparent family caregivers from moving forward. They say what makes the sun shine for them when they hear from grandparents talking about grandparent family caregiving. They talk about the ways in which the grandparents as family caregivers need help, and the type of help they need. They say what they would like to see done to bring more help to grandparent family caregivers and, in particular, what more can be done to help grandparent family caregivers help each other.

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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