When a Family Member is Dying, a Care List for Family Caregivers

February 19, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Tracy Soloninka, a recognized leader in oncology and palliative care, is a vocal advocate for benefits for families when a family member is dying. She describes her work and experience of family caregiving. She explains palliative care and end-of-life care. She discusses the challenges for family caregivers caring for family members who are dying in a hospice or at home, and says what she’s learned from family caregivers. She explains family caregivers’ information needs relating to medical conditions of their dying family members, support for family members at the end of their lives, and psychosocial and spiritual necessities of the entire family. She explains the concept of a care list for meeting the information needs of family caregivers, and identifies the types of information that a care list would aim to provide. She discusses who should prepare the list and how family caregivers would access it. She shares her message for family caregivers caring for dying family members.

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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