The Importance of Men as Caregivers – Part 6 of Caregivers and Who They Are

It has been suggested that men have a more difficult time as caregivers, because care-giving is often so closely tied with the traditional gender roles of women.  Men may feel less competent to provide care, may feel less comfortable talking about themselves as care-givers, and may be less willing to search out support for emotional and psychological tolls that care giving can sometimes have.

The roles they serve

Men are less likely to provide help with daily activities such as bathing, eating, or dressing the care recipient.  They are also more likely to live farther away, providing long-distance care.  However, men are just as likely as women to provide help with tasks such as grocery shopping, transportation, and housework.  Men are more likely to provide help with handling financial matters than women.  They are less likely, however, to take on responsibilities of meal preparation.  This means that male caregivers may benefit more from services that are related to meals and personal care, and from services that help long-distance caregivers.

More than half of all men who are caregivers are also employed full- or part-time.  These men are not as likely to talk to supervisors or co-workers about their situation, and are not likely to be aware of any programs at work that might help them handle their responsibilities as caregivers and employees.  Male caregivers can fall through the cracks when they are resistant to talk about themselves as caregivers, or look for resources to help them.  As more and more men will have to take on care-giving responsibilities for their wives, mothers, aunts, or grandmothers, it will become even more important to identify them, and make sure they understand the options available to help them.