Linda Nichols, Ph.D., has been named to serve on the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) ad hoc committee to analyze the most recent information from their Study on Family Caregiving for Older Adults. Unmet needs, differences in needs associated with race, ethnicity, and other factors, and progress in delivery reform will be examined for caregivers and caregiving. Government and private sector policies and actions to increase meaningful involvement of and support for caregivers in existing medical home, community care settings, and new models of integrated health and long-term care also will be investigated. Moreover, needed information or training, instruction in the use of health technologies, reduction of barriers to integrated care, and other policy interventions such as possible caregiver financial support from Medicaid, Medicare, commercial payers, or VA healthcare will be defined.
Dr. Nichols is a health services researcher and medical anthropologist who focuses on dementia caregiving and the challenges faced by military families during and post-deployment. She led several HSR&D studies on support for caregivers of Veterans with dementia, which will serve as a foundation for future contributions to the IOM committee. Currently, Dr. Nichols is co-Director of the Caregiver Center at the Memphis VA Medical Center, which provides training to VA staff across the country to work with caregivers of Veterans with dementia, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and with families of Veterans who were injured after 9/11.