A Psychiatric Hospital Cemetery, Graves and Memories
October 16, 2012
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
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Megan O’Toole, a veteran Canadian journalist, wrote the story of a psychiatric hospital cemetery. She describes the people interested in the hospital’s patients buried in the cemetery, and some of their stories. She explains the future for the cemetery and how it will be cared for. She describes what she learned from the story. From a media perspective, she talks about the importance of the history of the cemetery and of the hospital’s care for people with mental illnesses and developmental disorders. She identifies topics the media should pay more attention to, and why. She says how more media interest in the history of care for mental illnesses and developmental disorders could help improve their care today. She explains why memories evoked by the psychiatric hospital cemetery are important, and what family caregivers can learn from them when they are caring for family members with the types of mental illnesses and developmental disorders of the people buried in the cemetery.
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.