Help through caregiver-support programs for Alzheimer’s disease

August 2, 2011
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Episode Description

Dr. Linda Teri is a Member of the Medical & Scientific Advisory Council of the Alzheimer’s Association. She’s Professor of Psychosocial & Community Health at the University of Washington. Amy MacFarlane is Founder and CEO of Recreational Respite Inc, www.recrespite.com, a company which provides for Creative living and innovative care. They talk about Alzheimer’s disease. They discuss real-life examples of caregiver-support programs that helped family caregivers meet the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease. They discuss the ways in which the programs support aging at home. They say how well community-based professionals, such as nurses and physicians, and the wider public understand the family caregiving challenges of Alzheimer’s disease and the role of caregiver-support programs. They describe what is being done to increase understanding and to promote the programs in the US and Canada. And then they tell us how optimistic they feel about progress in coping with Alzheimer’s disease.

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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