Well Spouses as Family Caregivers
November 5, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Terri Corcoran lives in Falls Church, Virginia, and has been a full-time caregiver for her husband Vince since 2004. He is severely disabled physically and mentally by the genetic condition Fragile X-Associated Tremor Ataxia Syndrome. She is on the Board of Directors of the Well Spouse Association. She describes her life and experience of spousal caregiving, and the work and history of the Association. She highlights the most challenging of the challenges encountered by spousal caregivers, the circumstances in which these arise, the emotional consequences, and the information needs. She explains the help required by spousal caregivers in overcoming the challenges and consequences. She says what more she would like to do through her work with the Association to help spousal caregivers, and what more she would like to see done by the healthcare and social systems. She shares her message for spousal caregivers just starting out on their journey of spousal caregiving. http://wellspouse.org/
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.
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.