How Is Caregiving Different for Male Caregivers?
If you painted a picture of a typical family caregiver, you’d probably portray a middle-aged woman, perhaps cooking and serving a meal, assisting with baths or getting dressed, an transporting a loved one to doctors’ appointments. And this assessment would be accurate; AARP reports the typical caregiver profile is a 49-year-old female helping with acts of service such as these for a 69-year-old female relative who is facing long-term health concerns.
Yet there’s a growing trend of male caregivers stepping into – or sometimes, falling into by default – this crucial role: nearly 40% of all caregivers, as a matter of fact. And though there are some trending differences in caregiving difficulties between the genders (such as a greater likelihood of discomfort for men in helping with personal hygiene tasks), all caregivers, regardless of gender, require a strong system of support.
Edwin Walker, deputy assistant secretary for aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (and a family caregiver himself), stresses the importance of peer support for male caregivers, who are often hesitant to express their feelings and concerns. Carving out time to enjoy favorite pastimes and hobbies with friends, seeking out the support of a professional counselor, or participating in a caregiver support group are several ways male caregivers can maintain their own emotional and physical wellbeing in order to provide the best care for their loved ones.
Another form of support for male caregivers to look into is to partner with a reputable in-home care agency, like Hired Hands Homecare, for respite care services that allow for much-needed breaks from care. Call us at (866) 940-4343 to learn more about our San Rafael home care services, and the other California communities where our services are available.
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