Supporting Family Caregiving for ALS

September 30, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Episode Description

Leslie Ryan, MSPT, is Care Services Director for The ALS Association Rocky Mountain Chapter. The ALS Association is headquartered in Washington, DC, ALS Association. Christine Hanks opted to leave her professional work to help take care of her Mother, Natalia, who was diagnosed with ALS in November of 2009 and who lives at home. Leslie talks about her background and her work with The ALS Association. Christine talks about her family caregiving for her mother. They discuss the greatest challenges experienced by persons with ALS in its early and later stages and by their family caregivers. They explain the ways in which the challenges can be overcome through the services provided by ALS Association and other services to help persons with ALS and their family caregivers. They say what they would like to do and see done to improve help for persons with ALS and their family caregivers, and they share their messages for family caregivers caring for family members with ALS.

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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