Published on: December 21, 2018
by Jennifer Tucker for VeryWell Health:
We typically think of caregivers as women, and while statistically, it is accurate that more women than men provide care for older family members, men do their fair share.
He Said, She Said
One reason male caregivers might fly under the radar is that they tend to approach caring for a loved one differently than a woman might. Here are a few of the key differences between male family caregivers and female family caregivers, based on research by the Family Care Alliance, Statistics Canada, and the book “Men As Caregivers” by Betty J. Kramer and Edward Thompson, Jr.
Within these differences, there are more subtleties between men who care for their wives, men who care for a disabled child, and men who care for elder parents. For example, In the case of men that provide support for their wives, they are more likely to provide personal care than non-spousal caregivers.
Don’t Go It Alone
Just because men are less likely to share their caregiving concerns with those closest to them doesn’t mean that they don’t need support. Research shows that men can experience depression—highest for those who have to place their wife with dementia into a nursing home—and benefit from increased comfort and insight.
Some tips for male family caregivers—and females too—to make sure they don’t burn out:
If you are a male family caregiver, know that you are not alone. If you know a man who is providing family care, see if he is getting the support he needs.
Although it’s great to celebrate the big achievements, it’s also important to celebrate the small wins.
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