Empowering Family Caregivers with Voice and Visibility

April 1, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

 

Episode Description

Donna Messer is the Queen of Networking, www.ow.ly/jppRm. She discusses her personal story and her experience with family caregiving. She describes her work and projects she’s done that helped empower groups with voice and visibility. She discusses the challenges for any group that needs voice and visibility because it hasn’t got enough of an audience and needs more visibility in places where decisions are made or where they face opposition. She describes the help they need, and explains why particular types of help are so important. She explains the services she advocates and provides, and gives an example of a group that succeeded in getting its needs heard and understood. She says what more she wants to do and see done generally to help family caregivers caring for caring for family members with serious, incurable physical and mental illnesses, including those who are at the end of life. She shares her message for groups of family caregivers seeking voice and visibility.

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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