Family Caregivers Creating Quality of Life Plans

October 14, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Shirley Edwards is an ‘Identity Coach’ specializing in Family Caregivers. She’s coached and led workshops for almost 10 years through her Open Mind Coaching business, www.openmindcs.com. She talks about her background and career, her experience of family caregiving, and about the services she provides. She explains what a high quality of life is for family caregivers caring for family members with serious illnesses or disabilities, and why it matters for the family as a whole. She discusses the greatest of the challenges to quality of life experienced by family caregivers. She explains when, why and how family caregivers should think about, create and assess their quality of life plans. She says what more she would like to do through her work and see done by healthcare and social services to improve the quality of life of family caregivers. She shares her message for family caregivers concerned about the quality of their lives.

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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