What Family Caregivers Should Know about Strokes, Heart Attacks, and Blood Clots

October 6, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Dr. Ben Bell is a specialist in general internal medicine and an executive member of Thrombosis Canada, http://thrombosiscanada.ca/. He talks about his career, experience with family caregiving, and his work as a specialist and with Thrombosis Canada. He explains how blood clots cause strokes, heart attacks, and venous thromboembolism, and the importance of these conditions. He discusses developing online knowledge translation tools for healthcare providers and for family caregivers. He highlights the key things that family caregivers should know when they are caring at home for a family member with a serious condition caused by a blood clot. He says what more he would like to do and see done, and by whom, to enhance care by healthcare providers and family caregivers for conditions caused by blood clots. He shares his message for family caregivers who have just learned that a loved one is to be discharged from hospital following treatment for a stroke caused by a blood clot.

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.

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