Care Needed by Individuals with FASD and their Family Caregivers
October 7, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
David Gerry began learning about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) on becoming a foster parent to two children with FASD. He’s co-founder of ‘Living with FASD Summit’, http://LivingWithFASD.com. He talks about his experience with family caregiving for the children. He discusses the roles of adoptive parents and birth mothers as family caregivers for children living with FASD. He describes the challenges that FASD creates for children and young people including those involved in the justice system, and their family caregivers. He explains what he sees as the most effective types of support for children, young people, and family caregivers. He says what more he would like to do to and see done to improve support for children, young people and family caregivers confronting FASD-related challenges. He shares his message for family caregivers who have recently learned that a child they are caring for may have to live with FASD.
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.