Family Caregiving in the Jewish Community

March 1, 2011
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Episode Description

Rochelle Wilner served as National President of B’nai B’rith Canada. Dr Rachel Goldberg is Director of Aging Policy for B’nai B’rith International. They describe the support for family caregiving through B'nai B’rith in Canada and the US. They discuss their experience with family caregiving in their extended families. They explore the challenges that predominate in the Jewish communities in the US and Canada, and identity their most important impacts. They discuss the challenges of distance and demographics for family caregivers, and the importance of community. They tell us about the things that cause the sun to shine for them in their involvements with family caregiving in their extended families and in their work with the Jewish community. They share with us the policies they would advocate if they were politicians standing for election on a platform of support for family caregivers, say what would be the most important messages they’d want to get across to voters.

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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