Men as Family Caregivers

October 11, 2011
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Dr. James V. Gambone co-authored ‘Who Says Men Don’t Care?, A Man’s Guide To Balanced and Guilt Free Caregiving’. Bob Smith, a retired firefighter, is the full-time family caregiver for his wife Joan, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004. Jim explains his interest in family caregiving. Bob describes what the felt when he first realized that he was to be the family caregiver for Joan. They talk about men as family caregivers and the ways they approach and get help with family caregiving. Jim summarizes what is known about men as family caregivers. Bob explains how his approach to family caregiving changed in the time he’s been caring for Joan, and the help he gets. Jim talks about the way men differ from women in their approach to family caregiving. They discuss Jim’s self-assessment system, which Bob has applied to himself. Jim explains how grief and depression differ. They offer the message they each want to share with family caregivers facing the challenges that Bob faces.

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.

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