Siblings Caring for Parents with Dementia

Dr. Megan Gilligan and The Families in Later Life Research Lab at Iowa State University are conducting a study to better understand the role of family dynamics in the health and well-being of adult children who provide care to a parent with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia (ADRD). Most of the previous work on family caregiving has focused on a single primary caregiver — but caregiving is often a “family affair” that involves multiple family members. This study is currently nationally recruiting two adult children within the same family to discuss their unique experiences of providing care to an older parent with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. This study is designed to be low maintenance and all data collection can take place remotely within your own home. 

Study Commitment

If eligible, you and a sibling will:

  • Participate in a 90-minute online video meeting via Zoom about caring for your parent with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia
  • Complete 3 online surveys
  • Self-collect hair and saliva samples to measure stress hormones
  • Each receive up to $95 as compensation for your time

If you are interested in participating in this study and/or would like more information, please visit the study webpage, email Dr. Megan Gilligan at or call (515) 294-5074.



Participation Eligibility

Participants are eligible to participate if they are: 

  • Adult children who have a parent with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia (ADRD)
  • Adult children currently providing care for that parent
  • Adult children have at least one living sibling who would be willing to participate in the study and to whom they are biologically related through the living parent
  • At least one participating adult child resides in the United States
  • Families are welcome to participate regardless of whether the parent with ADRD resides in their own home, with other family members, in a residential facility or memory care unit or in some other setting 

Principal Investigator

Megan Gilligan, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Human Development and Family Studies 
Faculty Associate of the Gerontology Program
Iowa State University
Phone (515) 294- 5074