Changes to Family Caregiving of Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities during COVID-19

Elizabeth B Lightfoot, Heejung Yun, Rajean P Moone, Jacob R Otis, Kamal Suleiman, Kenneth S Turck, Courtney Kutzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The strict restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted the lives of many at-risk people and their family caregivers. This study explored how family caregivers perceived that family caregiving had changed during COVID-19 and the strategies they used to cope with these changes. We conducted 52 semi-structured interviews with family caregivers of adults over age 65 or adults with disabilities and analyzed the data through an inductive thematic analysis. Caregivers perceived the largest COVID-19-related caregiving changes to be limited social and physical contacts, changed caregiving tasks, reduced services and supports, and a new focus on vigilance and safety. Caregivers made numerous changes to caregiving, including keeping connected, keeping relatives occupied, getting support and services in new ways, and reducing caregiver stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGerontology and Geriatric Medicine
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation, University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • aging
  • connections
  • family caregivers
  • older people
  • supports
  • technology

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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