What Family Caregivers Should Know about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

October 29, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

 

Episode Description

Dr. Ruwan Jayatunge graduated from the Vinnitsa National Medical University Ukraine and joined the Ministry of Health, Government of Sri Lanka. He worked closely with Sri Lankan war veterans and civilians affected by the war. He talks about his life and experience of family caregiving and his work as a physician in Sri Lanka. He explains the history of post-traumatic stress disorder, the things that can trigger it, and its effects on individuals, families and communities. He discusses the ways post-traumatic stress disorder is treated, its effects on families and their needs for help. He highlights ways in which healthcare and social systems can help individuals, families and communities affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. He says what more he would like to do and see done to help individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder and their family caregivers. He shares his message family caregivers caring for a family member with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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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