Older Caregivers and Transitions Study (OCAT)

The OCAT was implemented in 2007 to explore the barriers to effective late-life transitions for older family caregivers who were providing direct care and support for a family member with DD. This study is important because of the growing number of older adults as well as the increasing life expectancy for persons with a developmental disability. The changing demographics impact the demand for and types of individual, community, and in-home supports necessary for caregivers and persons with DD.  Our study hoped to answer the following:

  • What are the concerns of aging family caregivers when  he/she is no longer able to take as active a role or any role in the daily activities and care of their family member with a disability?
  • How do parents and families start to plan for that future as they begin to age?
  • What may hinder or promote the process of making future care plans?

Caregiver Roadmap CoverThe research team interviewed 30 caregivers with diverse and rich experiences and is grateful for the opportunity to share a part of their lives.  Caregivers are a valuable resource and in order for them to continue their important role, statewide systems of care, service providers, and the Sonoran UCEDD must work collaboratively to share information and resources to address caregivers’ concerns and needs.  As a result of this study, we created a caregiving resource for families, Future Care Planning: A Roadmap for Family Caregivers, both as a manual and an accompanying webmodule.  For these resources and more information about the OCAT Study, please follow see the Publications section on this page.