If you're an elderly person in need of care, chances are you're a woman. And if you're an adult child giving the care, chances are you're also a woman.

Researchers at the University of Florida have confirmed what common sense and other social scientists have been telling us for several years now: Care of the aging is a woman's issue.Florida researcher and professor Jeff Dwyer and several colleagues will come to Provo next week to present their findings at the Brigham Young University conference on "Gender and the Family."

You won't have to be a statistician to understand his presentation, Dwyer says. He hopes the conference will help families start thinking about what they will do.

"The projections are that the situation will only get worse. The population of people 85 and older, the population that requires the most care, will increase - at a minimum - by 400 percent over the next 50 years.

"Our ability (in government) to provide resources isn't likely to get any better," Dwyer says.

And with the divorce rate being what it is, and more and more women entering the work force full time, Dwyer believes women are being asked to do more, "precisely at a time in history when they are less able to do it."

The BYU "Gender and the Family" conference begins on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and continues through Feb. 8. Speakers from all over the United States and from several other countries will be presenting papers and discussing their research.

For a schedule and registration information, call 378-4853. - Susan Lyman-Whitney