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William E Haley

University of South Florida



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Expert Profile
I am a clinical psychologist who specializes in understanding psychological aspects of aging. I have studied the psychological aspects of family caregiving for older adults and worked with caregivers for over 30 years. Caregiving is an important topic due the growth of our older adult population, and trends for Americans to experience chronic illness and disability that requires assistance from others. Family caregivers are the backbone of our long-term care system and are the major resource for delaying or preventing costly nursing home placement.

My research has examined the ways that different illnesses and circumstances (e.g. Alzheimer's disease, stroke, cancer, end-of-life, hospice) lead to different kinds of stress for caregivers; the impact of stress on caregivers' health and well-being; factors that are associated with relatively better coping with caregiving stress; and counseling and education programs for caregivers. Among our most interesting recent findings are that besides being stressful, caregiving is often a growth experience for caregivers, giving caregivers meaning and an enhanced sense of purpose in life. We have also learned that most caregivers, while stressed, are resilient, and that people who are caregivers actually live longer than noncaregivers.

I have broad experience in teaching courses on psychology of aging, mental health and aging, and family caregiving. I have given many presentations to public groups, heatlhcare and social services staff, and scientific organizations. I welcome the opportunity to help others learn about the challenges faced by caregivers, and what things we can do to help caregivers cope successfully.

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