Summer Snow and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
December 10, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
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Eleanor Millard is a novelist, researcher and social activist, http://www.eleanormillard.com/. A Member of the Legislative Assembly for Ogilvie (Dawson City), Yukon, 1974-1978, she became Minister of Education, Recreation, Housing and Employment. She talks about her life, career as author and researcher, and her experience with family caregiving. She describes her novel ‘Summer Snow’ and her research report ‘Kinship Care in the Yukon’. She discusses the challenges experienced by Amanda, the novel’s principal character, after adopting a young girl with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. She describes the challenges they experience together. She explains how they confront these challenges the help they received, and the effect on them both of recognizing the girl’s abilities. She says what more she would like to do and see done to provide more help to family and kinship caregivers and their family members in confronting challenges like those experienced by Amanda and her daughter.
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.