Baby Boomers Confront the Caregiving Challenge
February 28, 2012
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Bart Mindszenthy hosts www.mycarejourney.com, a community for family members caring for aging parents and other loved ones. He says how his family caregiving experience, background, and life’s work activated him in supporting family caregiving. He talks about Baby Boomers as family caregivers, identifies the health conditions for which they most commonly provide care, and the types of care that the family members need. He explains the types of help Baby Boomers need when they are family caregivers, where the help comes from, and what types of help they find difficult to get. He discusses the effects of age on Baby Boomers’ own health, and the challenges these effects generate for them and their family members. He explains why planning is so important. He discusses the future for Baby Boomers as family caregivers given that family caregiving is getting more and more important as the population ages. He states his message for Baby Boomers who are starting out as family caregivers.
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.