Women have always been the majority of caregivers. Women are nurturers, often live longer than men, and often assume the caregiver role for their husbands or other elderly loved ones. But the truth is that many men are also caregivers these days. In fact, according to USA Today, with Alzheimer’s and other debilitating diseases afflicting more women, the men in their lives are stepping up.
When one pictures a caregiver, a woman automatically comes to mind. Female caregivers are society’s norm; it has been that way since the beginning of time. But with people living longer and diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, affecting more women—men are also taking on the tough caregiver and nurse role. And we at A Place for Mom have noticed an increased voice of male caregivers on our social boards, blog comments and Facebook page.
According to two studies, one by the Alzheimer’s Association, the other by the National Alliance for Caregiving, almost twice as many men these days are taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, which is up almost 40 percent of caregivers, from 19 percent just 15 years ago. Experts say that is because more women older than 65 have the disease — 3.4 million, compared with 1.8 million men at last count. But why, exactly, is this? Changes in the economy, and the layoffs and early retirements that followed, made more men available than used to be the norm. And other contributing factors? Families scattered across the country, longer life expectancies and changing ideas about gender roles.
Talk with a Senior Living Advisor
Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.
USA Today has more particulars in: More Men Take On Caregiver Role.