On November 17, researchers Dana Ellis, Carley Ward and Chaiwoo Lee, PhD, presented a symposium titled “An In-depth Look Into the Caregiver Experience” at the Gerontological Society of America conference in New Orleans. The presentations revealed results from a recent study mapping caregiver tasks and experiences. In the study, twenty-nine employed family caregivers providing unpaid care to an adult family member were surveyed over three months, including one month of daily surveys, two months of weekly surveys, and occasional phone interviews. The surveys and interviews covered various aspects of caregiving (e.g., daily tasks, well-being, time management, communication, and the effects of caregiving on work and family life) and touched on a number of different domains, including transportation, technology, finances, medication management, personal care and social networks.
The first presentation provided a detailed description of the caregivers and the situations they manage. The second presentation reported on the results from daily questionnaires and explored how caregivers deal with and provide care throughout their days. The third focused on caregiver well-being and the burdens, stress, and strains that caregivers handle. The fourth presentation described how caregivers assemble the resources and information to perform particular care tasks. The aim of the research was to elicit a better understanding of the needs and experiences of employed family caregivers through a detailed look into their lives.