Critter Corner: Advice for Male Caregivers

 

Dear Angel,

I am a caregiver for my dad and I am a man. When I tell people about it, they seem surprised. But, times have changed and I’ve read there are more male caregivers out there than people think. Sometimes, my role can be challenging, especially since I am not familiar with how to handle certain medical things. Do you know of any support programs or training videos available for men like me

Thanks!

Mel Kayrtaker

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 Dear Mel,

You are correct that there has been a notable increase in male caregivers, and it reflects the changing demographics in our country and the evolution of gender roles. Just as more men have increasingly become primary caregivers for children as their wives assume the family breadwinner role, now they are also becoming primary family caregivers for aging or ill loved ones. 

Jean Accius of AARP believes that what men need is “recognition they exist” and training for their role.

Homewatch Caregivers is an international home care agency that started the first online male caregiver support community in 2012. However, after four years they found men did not want to share their experiences and talk to other men online. Instead, they really needed help in managing their caregiving tasks and finding community resources. Homewatch Caregivers now works closely with numerous disease specific organizations, such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Alzheimer’s Association, to be able to provide the emotional support men need, and is now more focused on online training and “how-to” videos.

AARP has also created educational videos to help all caregivers, especially with tasks for which they are not trained. Click here (http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/qa-tool/info-2016/caregiver-workshops-and-training.html) for details.

Hope these resources are helpful for you!

Angel

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