Comparing British and Canadian Supports for Family Caregiving
May 27, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Donna Thompson began as actor, director and teacher. She became disability activist, author, consultant and writer in 1988, when her son Nicholas was born with severe disabilities. She blogs on "The Caregivers' Living Room", www.donnathomson.com. She discusses her own experience of family caregiving, and her book, ‘The Four Walls of My Freedom: Lessons I've Learned From a Life of Caregiving’, and why she wrote it. She compares Britain and Canada for the names given to family caregivers, the roles in which they are recognized, and the support they receive. She compares the two countries for the ways in which family caregivers work with the health care system and are accepted by it as members of the healthcare team. She says what more she would like to do and see done to help family caregivers in Canada benefit from the experience of family caregivers in other countries. She shares her message for family caregivers in Canada. She uses www.tyze.com for family-caregiving communications.
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.