Schizophrenia, False Memories, and Family Memoirs

October 13, 2015
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Episode Description

Katherine Flannery Dering talks about her life, career, and experience as elder sister of her brother, Paul, as he lived with schizophrenia. She explains her book 'Shot In The Head', http://www.shotintheheadbook.com/. She describes his false memories and how she came to recognize these. She highlights the challenges that false memories created for him in his interactions with his present and past realities and the challenges these created for the family as a whole. She explains how her book is her very own memoire, and how this and her family's memoires and memories may have helped them all in understanding his challenges caused by false memories. She says what more she would like to do to improve support for families with family members living with false memories. She describes caring for Paul at the end of his life and what she and the family learned from this experience. She shares her message for families and family caregivers caring for family members living with schizophrenia.

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.

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Dr. Gordon Atherley

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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