When you think of caregivers, do you picture a broad chested, muscular man with a bald head and multiple tattoos? Probably not. You more likely think of a woman who might be a parent and who is also taking care of her own parent. However, men are caregivers, too. In fact, the man described above is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the famous action movie star, and yes, a man who was a caregiver to his ailing mother. Men are the forgotten face of caregivers, yet around 40 percent of caregivers are male.
Below are some interesting facts about male caregivers, what they do, and how their role as caregivers differ from those of women.
The Average Male Caregiver
The average male caregiver is 47.8 years old. He takes care of a single adult who is 68.8 years old and usually female. The person he is caring for needs help because of a long-term condition. He’s been providing care for 3.9 years and spends about 23 hours per week on caregiver duties. His burden of care is described as moderate because he has other people who assist with care. In addition to being a caregiver, the typical male caregiver also works an average of 37.6 hours per week. He’s married or lives with a partner.
An Increasing Number of Men Are Becoming Caregivers
The number of men taking on the role of caregiver has steadily increased since 2015. And, the kinds of tasks men are performing is changing. In the past, male caregivers primarily did things like managing finances and providing transportation for seniors. Today, more men are also helping with activities of daily living, such as bathing and feeding.
Male Caregivers Are Less Likely to Share Their Feelings
Male caregivers need emotional support just as female caregivers do, but they’re less likely to talk about how they feel. They may not tell others when they are overwhelmed by their caregiver duties. Still, they need the support of others, so joining a caregiver support group may be even more important for men than for women.
Male Caregivers Can Benefit from Hiring Home Care, Too
Because male caregivers are less likely to reach out to family members and friends when they need help, home care may be a viable option for them to receive the help they need. Home care providers can care for seniors while the male caregiver is at work, attending to other areas of their life, or when they simply need a break.