Listening to Family Caregivers Caring for Psychosis
April 8, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
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Lisa Feldstein is the principal lawyer at Lisa Feldstein Law Office, http://familyhealthlaw.ca/. She practices family health law, which includes providing advice in reproductive law, mental health law, privacy, elder law and other health law matters. She talks about her career, experience with family caregiving, work in family health law, and one of her newspaper articles. She discusses challenges that family caregivers experience when they see warning signs that a family member may be starting with psychosis or psychotic episodes, when they try to get help, when the police are alerted, and when they try to communicate with healthcare via its privacy systems. She describes effective responses to the challenges. She says what more she would like to do and see done to help family caregivers caring for family members affected by psychoses and psychotic episodes, and to make privacy laws more supportive of family caregivers’ information needs. She shares her message for family caregivers.
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.