Wiemers to study challenges of caring for aging parents amid pandemic

Emily WiemersEmily Wiemers, associate professor of public administration and international affairs, will serve as principal investigator for a two-year, federally funded study of the challenges to those caring for aging parents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded $161,485 to Syracuse University for the project, which also includes researchers at Bowling Green State University.

Wiemers serves as a faculty associate at the Aging Studies Institute and as a faculty affiliate of the Center for Aging and Policy Studies. Representing Bowling Green as principal investigator is I-Fen Lin, professor of sociology and research affiliate of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research.

The study will assess changes in health, access to health care and economic well-being that older Americans experience during the pandemic. It will also explore how their adult children responded with help in the form of time, money and co-residence and whether the response of adult children differed across socioeconomic and racial-ethnic groups.

“This project uses an innovative combination of micro-level survey data, including the geographic location of respondents and their children, and macro-level data on the severity and timing of the spread of the virus across geographic areas,” says Wiemers. “That allows for a deeper examination of where families lived geographically and whether how close they lived to one another weakened or strengthened their ability to provide help to older adults when needs arose.”

By, Jessica Youngman, 10/11/21