Lauren Stratton

Lauren Stratton focuses research on caregivers

Originally Lauren thought she would work in long-term care. Then she realized she could help the aging population indirectly by doing research and decided this career path fit her better. From an even more indirect approach, Lauren’s focus isn’t exactly older adults but their caregivers instead.

“My research interests focus on caregivers of people with dementia, including caregiver burden and knowledge of long-term services and supports,” she said.

For her master’s thesis, she worked with the Iowa Department of Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association on a project that helped caregivers through phone intervention.

“If the caregivers feel supported and have resources, then they give better support to the older adults,” Lauren said.

She is still deciding on a thesis for her doctorate. However, she thinks her focus will stay on the caregivers but might also extend to the services who assist them like the Iowa Department of Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association.

“As I continue on with my education, my dream career is always shifting; however, I can see myself working within an organization devoted to helping older adults and caregivers,” she said. “I would be interested in doing research, programming, and/or policy work that would help to enhance their quality of life.”

Due to her personal experiences working in a care facility, Lauren knows the importance of quality care for the aging. She said this requires caregivers to remember to take care of themselves too.

“I would advise caregivers to seek resources, take care of themselves, and have a support system in place,” Lauren said.