Autonomy for the Aged
August 26, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Krista James is National Director of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law, http://www.bcli.org/ccel, and staff lawyer with the British Columbia Law Institute. She describes the Centre’s work. She explains the benefits and risks of autonomy for the elderly. She discusses uniform standards for fire protection of the elderly living in retirement homes and long-term care facilities. She describes guidance she would like to see widely adopted for protecting seniors against elder abuse while respecting their autonomy; for personal service workers and professional staff when an elderly person insists on making a decision which could be risky; and for assessing the decision-making capacity of elderly people. She says what she would like to do and see done to enhance respect for the autonomy of elderly people while ensuring protection for them and others who may be put at risk by their decisions. She shares her message for family caregivers concerned about elderly family members’ decision-making.
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.