Red Cross Restoring Family Links

June 3, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

 

Episode Description

Shannon McMillan is Coordinator of the Restoring Family Links Program of the Canadian Red Cross, http://ow.ly/xdFkb. She talks about her career and experience of family caregiving. She highlights the histories of the Red Cross and its Restoring Family Links Program. She explains the separations of the people the program serves, the effects on families and loved ones, and the humanitarian needs. She explains Family Links, how the program decides that one has been lost, and the procedure if the person sought is too ill to be connected with, or is detained in some way. She describes how the Link re-establishes contact, and the work involved. She highlights achievements of the program, recent examples in various parts of the world, and how suffering is relieved. She explains how the program’s services are requested and how people can help. She shares her message for family caregivers in Canada who are separated from their family members and loved ones by conflicts, disasters or migration.

Family Caregivers Unite!

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.

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Dr. Gordon Atherley

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.

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