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CareEx: Extended Family Caregivers of Persons with Dementia

CareEx: Extended Family Caregiver Study uses telephone surveys to learn about nontraditional caregivers.

CareEx: Persons with Dementia Extended Family Caregiver Study uses telephone surveys to learn more about nontraditional caregivers.
The CareEx study uses telephone surveys to learn more about other family caregivers and their service use, needs and challenges.

Drs. Karen Roberto and Tina Savla, both core faculty members of Virginia Tech's Center for Gerontology, are leading a $2.14 million, five-year study that is funded by the National Institute on Aging called CareEx. CareEx is focused on learning about extended family caregivers for people with dementia.  While most of the past research on dementia caregiving has been conducted on close kin, such as adult children and spouses, this new research will study other family caregivers such as grandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews and step-kin.

Very little is known about these other family caregivers and how they came to be in the caregiving role. What is daily life like for them as dementia caregivers? Do they face unique challenges? How is the type and manner in which they provide for their relative different, if at all, than the care provided by spouse or adult child caregivers? Do these extended family caregivers need more support, education or training? These are just a few of the questions the study will examine.

Resources from previous caregiving projects conducted by the research team are available below:

To learn more about the CareEx project or the work of the research team, email CareEx@vt.edu



News Stories about CareEx

Virginia Tech researchers seek to understand effects of caregiving on extended family by Luanne Rife, The Roanoke Times, February 14, 2021.

Center for Gerontology receives $2.1M to study family caregivers of people with dementia by Yancey Crawford, Augusta Free Press, January 26, 2021.

New study to examine the role of extended family caregivers of people with dementia; story provided by Virginia Tech and posted in the News Medical Life Sciences, January 26, 2021.

$2.1 million to study extended family caregivers of people with dementia; story provided by Virginia Tech and posted EurekaAlert!, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, January 26, 2021.

Center for Gerontology researchers receive $2.14 million to study extended family caregivers of people with dementia by Yancey Crawford, Virginia Tech Daily, January 15, 2021.

 

Publications from Prior Caregiving Research

Savla, J., Roberto, K. A., Blieszner, R., McCann, B. R., Hoyt, E., & Knight, A. (2020). Dementia caregiving during the "stay-at-home" phase of COVID-19 pandemic.  The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences, gbaa129. doi.org/10.1093/geronb/ gbaa129

Savla, J., Wang, Z., Zhu, J., Brossoie, N., Roberto, K.A., & Blieszner, R. (2020). Mastery and longevity in spousal caregivers of persons with dementia. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 75, 1558-1562. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbz028

Roberto, K. A., McCann, B. R., Blieszner, R., & Savla, J. (2019). A long and winding road: Dementia caregiving with grit and grace. Innovations in Aging, 3(3). doi: 10.1093/geroni/igz021

Savla, J., Bivens, R., Roberto, K.A., & Blieszner, R. (2019). Where you age matters: Individual and county level predictors of formal and informal care in rural Appalachia. Journal of Aging and Health, 31, 837-860. doi.org/10.1177/0898264318761907