Gender roles continue to dilute as more men assume household responsibilities and provide care for parents or spouses. In 2012, Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project published a report stating 45% of men are caring for ailing family members. The rising rates of male caregivers are often a result of adult men caring for a female family member with Alzheimer's Disease or another form of dementia. While receiving this diagnosis more often than men in the same age group, it would seem elder women are in need of strong, healing hands.
Male Caregiving is Mainstream
Some find caring for chronically ill family members overwhelming. Hiring a senior care manager may help, if you feel like you are falling behind and need assistance. Nurturing the chronically ill requires mindful-tasking and will at many times be stressful. It then comes as no surprise some may feel anxious when handling several responsibilities at once. Grouping tasks together maximizes efficiency so you can get other stuff, like grocery shopping or laundry, done! For instance, if your family member requires skin care, help dress and clean the wounds after they’ve finished bathing. If you’re still uneasy, here are a few more helpful tips:
- The More You Know- Take the time to learn about your family member's medical condition! This will help you preemptively prepare for upcoming procedures and what to expect after treatments.
- Seek Support- Caregiver fatigue is a real thing! If you feel overstretched, financially or emotionally, there are hundreds of national organizations available to assist you. Conduct an online search to find a local support group to share your frustrations with and receive valuable feedback! Build solution partners!
- Remember Your Value- Don't forget each individual brings something special to the table. Men, you bring a lot of physical strength to mom's bedside, helping turn and lift her out of bed more easily! Embrace your differences! Be you! Be irreplaceable!
Both men and women are breaking gender barriers by mixing it up at work and in homes, transforming tradition. Community customs are changing and as more clinicians diagnose women with Alzheimer's Disease each year, we can expect the number of male caregivers to continue to rise.