Dementia and Family Caregiving--Unmasking the Spouse’s Grief

November 20, 2012
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

   

Episode Description

Eleanor Silverberg is a Counseling and Grief Specialist for Care Providers, www.eleanorsilverberg.com. Tibor Maknyik is family caregiver for his wife with Alzheimer's disease, which began in 1997 when she was 53. They discuss the losses that family caregivers experience in caring for a spouse with the disease. She explains the losses family caregivers experience. He describes the most difficult losses he experienced. She describes her specialized professional approach to helping family caregivers with their losses. He explains the factors in his life that led him to turn to Eleanor for help, and at what point in his family caregiving he approached her. She summarizes the benefits that she wants her approach to bring to family caregivers. He says how her services helped him in coping with his losses. They say what they want to see done to increase help for family caregivers caring for spouses with dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. They share their messages for family caregivers.

Family Caregivers Unite!

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.

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Dr. Gordon Atherley

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.

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