Larry’s Ride with Parkinson’s Disease, Betty and the Movie

February 1, 2011
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Episode Description

Betty Smith, the family caregiver, is married to Larry, the star of the movie. Andrew Rubin is producer of the film, Ride with Larry. Larry has Parkinson’s disease. All have family experience with Parkinson’s. Betty talks about Larry’s work before and after the Parkinson’s, and how he gets to work on his riding machine. She talks about the ways they together deal with the Parkinson’s, how they their vision of the future affects the things they do and think about each day. Andrew says how he first met Larry and Betty, and what got him thinking about a film. He explains what type of a film it is going to be, how the funds are being raised for it, the audience he wants to reach with it, and what its messages will be for people with Parkinson’s disease and their family caregivers. They both say what more they would like to see done to tell more stories of family caregiving for Parkinson’s and similar conditions, and what more need to be done to provide more help for family caregivers.

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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