A Merck Manual for Family Caregivers
March 13, 2012
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr. Robert S. Porter, editor-in-chief of The Merck Manuals, and Christene Gordon, Director of Client Services and Programs, Canada’s Alzheimer Society, discuss family caregivers’ information needs about Alzheimer’s disease. They describe the One-Page Merck Manual of Health and highlight the questions that family caregivers ask the Alzheimer’s Society. They say what information is needed by family caregivers about the first signs and worrisome trends of the disease. They explain the information needed by family caregivers about various aspects of Alzheimer’s disease including substance use and medications, diet and nutrition, injuries, infection, health generally, including personal and oral hygiene, and exercise and sleep. They stress the importance of information about self-care for family caregivers, whose job they see as hard, stressful and continuing. They share their key messages to family caregivers concerned about getting information to help them care for their family members.
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.