Most reading this blog are aware that Maine is demographically an aging state. For several years the state has been developing its Plan on Aging. The University of Maine System has established a multi-campus initiative to contribute to the state’s efforts to adjust (and thrive) with this trend in mind.
UMA has developed a small aging initiative and is working in partnership with Husson University on a two year research project. The goal of our study is to explore and describe the nature of elder caregiving engagement by undergraduate students. What is the extent and nature of this caregiving? How does it impact the success of students and intersect with workforce development needs in the state? In the past few months we’ve been reviewing literature, networking and successfully developing (2) planning and pilot study grants to support this work. At this writing we’re developing protocols. In the fall we expect to conduct online surveys and focal groups of undergraduates on multiple campuses. We look forward to contributing to the development of better workforce development pathways, higher rates of student program completion and better informed knowledge of the nature of these student commitments
Kenneth Elliott, PhD
Professor of Psychology
University of Maine at Augusta