Wife and Children as Family Caregivers
January 22, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
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Steven Holmes is a son, husband, father and grandfather. He describes his career and his role as a member of a family involved in family caregiving. He explains his mother’s role in the family caregiving, and the ways in which his mother cared for his father and for the particular challenges his father faced. He discusses the effects of time and aging on his mother and her caregiving. He explains the support his mother most strongly relied on throughout, and its influence on the family. He describes the family’s concerns that arose for their mother with the passing of time and with aging. He explains the help the family sought from the healthcare and social-services systems. He describes their experience with the help, and says whether he believes that other families have similar experiences. He says what more he would like to see done to help family caregivers of family members as they age at home, and shares his message for family caregivers caring for family members aging at home.
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.