Tools for Family Caregivers for Changing Lives of Family Members with Chronic Pain

February 25, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

 

Episode Description

Penney Cowan is founder and Chief Executive Officer of the American Chronic Pain Association,www.theacpa.org. She describes her work and her own experience of chronic pain. She explains what chronic pain is and its effects on the people who experience it. She explains the work of the Association. She discusses the challenges that chronic pain creates for the persons who experience it and that it may create for their family caregivers. She explains the ways in which the Association’s tools help persons living with chronic pain, and their family caregivers. She says what more the Association wants to do to help people and their family caregivers with the challenges of chronic pain, and what more she would like see done by the medical and pharmacy professions to help confront the challenges of chronic pain. She shares her message for persons confronting the challenges of chronic pain and for family caregivers concerned about a family member with chronic pain.

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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