A Family Caregiver and her Father's Legacy
April 14, 2015
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Carol Stanley was the family caregiver for the last five years of her father’s life. After a long and courageous battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, dementia, and bladder cancer, at age 95, he decided for himself it was time to go. He stopped eating. He died peacefully on December 12, 2014. She highlights her own life and her father’s, and the effects on her of her family caregiving for him. She identifies the most challenging of the challenges she experienced as family caregiver for him, for family caregivers like her who are themselves seniors and are caring for elderly family members like her father, and for family caregivers in getting help from the healthcare system. She describes the most effective help for overcoming the most challenging of the challenges. She explains her father’s legacy and how it strengthened her. She shares her message for family caregivers who are seniors themselves and who are caring for an elderly parent.
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.