What is the actual, lived reality of day-to-day family caregiving? How does it change over time, whether moment to moment or year to year? How does it vary from one family to the next? And what does such knowledge imply for all those working to support caregiving families?
Atlas of Caregiving explores the everyday practice of family caregiving; our Core Research applies new methods to collecting, analyzing, and presenting detailed contextual data to address these questions, and more.
Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we embarked on a year-long Pilot Study meant to explore how a new approach to research could enable a truly comprehensive look at family caregivers’ lives. Completed in late 2015, the study received a positive cross-sector response, presenting valuable new data and insights while offering actionable information to caregivers and their communities.
Studying family caregiving this richly is a new field of science, and we consider the exploration of how to undertake this study as an important part of our work. We regularly try and develop new methods, metrics, and models for our research, and learn as our scientific ‘toolbox’ continues to evolve.
Examining what the data implies, and sharing our insights widely, is a critical component of our research. How can we better inform caregivers, and the policies, products, programs, and services intended to support them? What can, and should, communities, employers, entrepreneurs, health and policy professionals, or technologists do differently, or the same?
To us, this work is not just about observing a group of research participants. We are committed to learning with the families who participate in our research, not just about them. We collaborate closely with caregivers’ communities and the organizations that serve them, aligning our efforts for relevant impact. While we have deep expertise in research and caregiving, we recognize that the truest experts are the caregivers and their families themselves.
How can family caregiving become easier, and more effective? This is the question that drives us every day.