The Center for the Study of Aging, a center within the College of Health Sciences, engages with Boise State students from across disciplines in research, interventions and programs related to caregiving and caregiver support.
It’s estimated that more than 160,000 college students and 5.5 million young people ages 18 to 25 identify as caregivers in the U.S. This issue is appearing on campuses across the country, including Boise State. Reports of staff seeking caregiver support, students leaving programs due to caregiving duties and others struggling to meet class expectations have been brought to the center’s attention. In celebration of November Caregiver Month, the center is teaming up with local organizations to provide outreach and education on campus and to incorporate caregiver support into existing programs for Boise State faculty, staff and students.
Undergraduate and graduate students from the School of Public and Population Health have recently worked on the following projects:
- Recognizing a need in an underrepresented community, Improving Hispanic Family Caregiver Projects: Identifying How Unique Barriers and Cultural Values Influence Service Utilization and Caregiver Roles highlights the need to recognize barriers and cultural values that are unique to the Hispanic Family Caregiver during intervention development. This research will be used to inform future caregiver projects on how to best serve this population.
- The Relatives as Parents Qualitative Needs Assessment: Impact of Substance Misuse on Family and Network Systems and Impact of Pandemic on Mental Health and Wellbeing set out to better understand the impact of substance misuse and addiction on individuals who are relatives as parents, and the impact of the pandemic on the mental health and well-being of these families. This project brought students and faculty together to complete qualitative interviews and data analysis, and listen to stories from a forgotten population.
- Contracted by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the center completed the Idaho Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Landscape Analysis and Needs-Based Assessment. The final report provided detailed information on the needs of persons living with dementia, and their family caregivers throughout Idaho. This project engaged 13 students from the Master of Public Health program, providing them hands-on experience in qualitative data collection and analysis and exposing them to the diversity involved in public health practice.
How you can get involved
Identify the people in your life who might be caring for others and offer assistance or join the Center for the Study of Aging and its community partners on social media to spread the word during November Caregiver Month (@FamilyCaregiverNavigator and @IdahoCaregiverAlliance on Instagram; Idaho Caregiver Alliance on Facebook).
For questions or ways to get involved, contact Hanna Scheuffele, director of community partnerships for the Idaho Caregiver Alliance, at email@example.com.