Lyme Disease Challenges for Family Caregivers and Family Members
August 14, 2012
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
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Jim Wilson, President and founder of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, is himself a victim of Lyme disease and the father of victims of Lyme disease. Janet Sperling is a trained entomologist whose 15 year-old son fell desperately ill. After months without a clear diagnosis, she and her husband confronted the possibility of Lyme disease. Jim and Janet discuss the serious challenges that Lyme disease creates for children, adults, family caregivers and families. They describe most important things that family caregivers, families, and family members should know about the disease, and where they can they find information about services and solutions for the challenges. They discuss communications with doctors which, they stress, should involve family caregivers giving information to doctors as well as family caregivers taking the advice of doctors. They identify the responses they want to see from healthcare systems and governments and they share their messages for 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.