Voices of Family Caregivers
February 10, 2015
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr. Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalents of the N American PhD and MD degrees, and the LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. He founded Family Caregivers Unite to empower family caregivers by amplifying their voice, spreading their vision, publicizing their value, and providing them with information that’s trustworthy, understandable and useful. In 2015, he says, it’s very important for the voices of family caregivers to be listened to, heard and understood because governments want to do more for families. But the things governments want to do for families give too little attention to family caregivers. To get the attention they so rightly deserve, he says, family caregivers should get their voices broadcast. Using Alzheimer’s disease, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and schizophrenia for his focus he explains how family caregivers can organize themselves, develop the messages they want to get received, and make the best use of 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.
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.