The Patients’ Association and Family Caregivers
March 22, 2011
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Sholom Glouberman founded the Patients' Association of Canada. He explains how his own experience as a patient convinced him of the need for an association. He shares his perspectives on family caregiving. He highlights the need for patients to become part of decision-making in healthcare. He answers the question of whether family caregivers should also be included in healthcare decision-making. He discusses the extent to which the role of family caregiving and the needs of family caregivers are understood and acknowledged by doctors, nurses, healthcare managers, medical sociologists, researchers, health care consultants, social workers and others represented in the Association. He explains the ways in which the Association will work with family caregivers and whether it can effectively represent their needs well as those of patients. He answers the question of whether family caregivers’ interests can be advanced through the Association or whether they need one of their own.
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.
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.