Greta Friedemann-Sanchez (MA '99) was recently awarded a Global Spotlight International Seed Grant for her team's project studying caregiving for older adults in India. The Global Spotlight grants support innovative project-based scholarly research and creative production of an international nature with a focus on the region of South Asia and/or the issue of Global Food Security.
Following is the abstract of Greta and her team's research project:
A Mixed Method Study of Caregiving for Older Adults in India
Principal Investigator: Benjamin Capistrant, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, School of Public Health
Greta Friedemann-Sánchez, Associate Professor, Humphrey School
Dr. Subharati Ghosh, Assistant Professor, Tata Institute of Social Science
As the world's second most populous country, India is rapidly undergoing two simultaneous transitions: an epidemiologic transition to growing chronic disease burden and a demographic transition to an unprecedentedly large and growing aging population. This project will investigate the experience, demands, and tradeoffs of caregiving for other adult family members, and identify formal and informal support services currently used in this context. Due to the rapidly aging population, more caregiving responsibilities for older adults in India will fall on fewer shoulders as the population ages and lives longer with disability. In lower and middle-income countries, the care of older persons nearly always falls to family members, overwhelmingly to women. It is critical to engage the lens of gender when considering experiences of caregiving and decision making about unmet needs in supporting the aging family members. We do not yet understand the best ways to support family caregivers and enable them to continue providing necessary care for the aging population. This study will directly address this gap by investigating perceived unmet needs and opportunities to support caregivers. In particular, we have stratified the sample by perceived strain to be able to characterize the conditions that might differentiate higher strain from lower strain situations. Although this study will be focused on caregiving in the Indian context, the themes may be relevant other countries and settings.
Previously published in Global Notes on March 23, 2014.