Services for Supporting Seniors’ Family Caregivers Directly
December 13, 2011
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Raymond Applebaum is the CEO of Peel Senior Link, a non-profit charitable organization that makes independent living possible for seniors. Amy MacFarlane is Founder and CEO of Recreational Respite Inc., a company which provides for creative living and innovative care. They tell us how they came to be interested in services for seniors and their family caregivers. They describe the services their organizations offer. They explain what’s meant by supporting family caregivers directly and the types of direct supports, including direct pay, most likely to be useful to family caregivers. They discuss the challenges in providing direct support to family caregivers, including the meeting costs. They say what more they would like to see done to bring more direct services to family caregivers caring for family members who are aging normally and for also those who are living with Alzheimer’s disease. They give their messages to family caregivers making decisions about help for seniors.
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.