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Caregiver and older adult research archive launched at UNE

August 21, 2013

Cally Gurley, director of special collections, Elena Dodd and Marilyn Gugliucci, Ph.D., director of UNECOM Geriatrics Education and Research

Elena Dodd, with her sisters Linda Makosky, Joan Gould, and Eileen Drath, donated their comprehensive caregiver records of end-of-life care given to their mother, Joan C. Harap, to the University of New England Department of Special Collections.  

These meticulous caregiver and medical records were kept by all family members and other caregivers during Mrs. Harap's later years, from the age of 84 until her death at 93. The collection, called the Harap Collection, forms the foundation of the National Elder Perspective Archive (NEPA) Collection for the purpose of primary source research.

The HARAP Collection contains detailed journals of care with hourly and daily entries; photographs, audio tapes, medical records with sensitive information redacted, budgets, and other materials. 

The records are the first of their kind to be collected for research at UNE and serve as the model for the NEPA Collection intimate research data base.   As the NEPA Collection develops, researchers will have first-hand experiences and stories of older adults and their families during the aging and dying process.

"The Harap Family has provided a powerful learning tool for researchers in the field of aging and for students in the health professions," stated Marilyn R. Gugliucci, Ph.D., Director of Geriatrics Education and Research at the College of Osteopathic Medicine. "I am grateful to the Harap Family and especially Elena Dodd."  Dr. Gugliucci has corresponded with Elena Dodd about this collection since 2010.

UNE wants the public to know it is collecting such information and data, and hopes that others will donate their caregiver records or older adult stories as they experience later life. As expressed by Elena Dodd, "This collection pays silent tribute to the team of dedicated and thoughtful caregivers who shared their skill and affection with our mother from day to day, adding stimulation and support in her last years of life."

For more information please contact the Department of Special Collections at 221-4324, or at cgurley@une.edu. 

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