Family Caregiving for Women and the Alzheimer's Crisis
April 28, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dean M. Hartley completed his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Stanford University in 1991 and is Director of Science Initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org. He describes his work with the Association, mentions his personal experience with family caregiving, and explains the Association’s mission. He highlights for women the key facts and figures in the Alzheimer’s Association’s March 2014 publication, ‘Summary of Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures’. He discusses the challenges he sees arising from the facts and figures as these relate to the health of women generally and to women as family caregivers, to healthcare systems and services, and to the societies of North America. He describes what he sees as most effective responses to the challenges. He says what he would like to do and see done by others to help with the challenges that he foresees. He shares his message for women and men who are family caregivers for family members living with Alzheimer’s disease.
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.