Special Needs Planning for Family Caregivers

November 29, 2011
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Fred Ryall, of Bearing Capital Partners, specializes in estate planning for business owners, professionals, executives and more specifically families who have special needs children. Craig Ross is Associate, Wills, Estates and Trusts, with the law firm, Pallett Valo LLP, whose practice includes advising disabled beneficiaries and guardians for personal care. They tell us how their interest arose in special-needs planning for family caregivers. The say what is meant by special needs planning, and when family caregivers should consider getting legal advice. They talk about the planning challenges for family caregivers with families with special needs. They explain services and support for family caregivers in special-needs families. They address the special-needs family caregivers’ question, What will happen to my child after my death?. They discuss the planning that they would like to see done by the healthcare, social and other systems that special-needs families rely on.

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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