Faculty & Staff

Francis Caro, PhD

Emeritus Professor of Gerontology
McCormack Graduate School
Editor, Journal of Aging and Social Policy


Areas of Expertise

Long-term Care, Productive Aging


PhD, Sociology, University of Minnesota

Additional Information

Prior to coming to UMass Boston, he held a number of teaching positions in universities and applied research positions in nonprofit organizations. His involvement with Gerontology began with the Midwest Council for Social Research on Aging in Kansas City, MO, and was solidified through a position with the Levinson Gerontological Policy Institute at Brandeis University. Immediately prior to coming to UMass Boston, he served as research director of the Community Service Society of New York for 14 years. In that position, he conducted both policy research and evaluation research on service delivery issues.

At UMass Boston, he held a variety of administrative positions since his appointment in 1988. He has served as director of the Research Division of the Gerontology Institute, Head of the Gerontology Center, Graduate Program Director, and Director of the Gerontology Institute.

He retired in the spring of 2008 and was awarded Emeritus status in the summer of 2008.

Long-term care and productive aging are his current major research interests. He is currently conducting studies concerning the residential adjustments (home modification, relocation, & use of assistive devices) of elders. The premise of the research is that over time elders face increasing challenges because of declining health and shrinking informal support systems. Elders can make residential adjustments that position themselves better to cope with their risks. The aim of the research is to understand the circumstances in which elders make adjustments and to provide elders and their adult children with information that leads to more informed planning.

He is also conducting research on activities of older people to understand linkages among various forms of activities and the cumulative impact of participation in activities on the wellbeing of elders.

He is also involved in methodological research concerned with the use of fractional factorial surveys on the internet in understanding the basis on which elders make decisions. The method makes use of video/audio clips to deliver information. In addition, research subjects have interactive options. The innovative methods make it possible to study decision making in a context that approximates real world decision making.

He continues to serve on a number of dissertation committees.