Compassion Fatigue and Chronic Sorrow
December 4, 2012
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Jan Spilman, MEd, is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, Compassion Fatigue Specialist, and Mental Health Educator, www.caregiverwellness.ca. She discusses her professional career, her experience with family caregiving, what led her to become a Compassion Fatigue and Chronic Sorrow Specialist, and what her work involves. She describes compassion fatigue and chronic sorrow, and the challenges that compassion fatigue creates for family caregivers. She discusses the consequences for family caregivers if they don’t get effective help with their challenges. She explains the help needed by family caregivers with compassion fatigue. She describes her Caregiver Wellness Workshops, and describes the ways in which these help. She says how she would like to see family caregivers helped more. She shares her message for healthcare and social-services systems and her message of hope for family caregivers confronted by the challenges of compassion fatigue and chronic sorrow.
Family Caregivers Unite!
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
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.