The University of Illinois at Chicago is tuning in to caregiving through the launch of a new center to study family caregivers and long-term care services.
The center, funded by $4.3 million in grant money from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the Administration for Community Living, will cross institutions to study the needs of families caring for seniors and those with disabilities.
“By gaining a better understanding of the experiences of family caregivers—the services they use, and the needs and challenges they face—we can help set policy and research agendas that will lead to improvements in the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities of all ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds and the family members that help support them,” said Sandy Magaña, professor of disability and human development at UIC, in a press release.
Pressures on family caregivers have come to the attention of research organizations as well as government agencies as the U.S. population ages and caregivers become more and more common. The University of Illinois at Chicago noted the 65 million family caregivers currently in the U.S. that are helping 12 million seniors and those with disabilities to live in their homes, and the support that they lack currently.
“There are lots of good interventions and ideas within the aging and disability ‘silos’ that can and should be exchanged,” Magaña said.
In bringing experts on aging and disabilities together, the center aims to conduct several major research projects over the next five years with an eye toward strategic planning around federal funding and policymaking.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker