Help for Caregivers On the Edge
February 4, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr. Diana Denholm is a board-certified psychotherapist who, for over 11 years, was the primary caregiver to her husband during a series of grave illnesses. She describes her professional background, her experience of family caregiving, and her book, ‘The Caregiving Wife’s Handbook, Caring for Your Seriously Ill Husband, Caring for Yourself’, www.caregivingwife.com. She explains what ‘being on the edge’ means. She discusses challenges for family caregivers caring for partners diagnosed with a serious, long-term illness requiring many years of caregiving. She explains challenges such as getting mentoring, information, and support for quality of life undermined by burnout, stress, and guilt. She discusses challenges for wives’ relationships with their partners that arise with matters of intimacy, uncertainty about difficult things that should be discussed, and deeply felt concerns. She talks about hope and help for family caregiving wives, and what more is to be done to help them.
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.