Putting men in the caregiving spotlight

More men are caring for loved ones. We’re just not hearing about it.

“A range of social demographic factors, including the aging of the population and shrinking family size, is influencing the pool of family caregivers both now and into the foreseeable future,” writes Jean Accius, PhD, in a recent report for the AARP Public Policy Institute. “Male family caregivers, an understudied population, are stepping up to the plate in record numbers.”

According to the Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 survey, 40 percent of family caregivers of adults are men, or 16 million male family caregivers in the United States. They’re managing finances, helping with housework, performing medical/nursing tasks and helping with activities of daily living. They’re caring for a parent or in-law as well as a spouse.

And they’re largely shouldering the burden without any or much support.

Some facts from the report:

  • 53 percent of all male family caregivers had help from other unpaid caregivers in caring for the care recipient, but 78 percent of male family caregivers caring for a spouse did not.
  • 44 percent of all male family caregivers have household incomes under $50,000 a year.
  • About 72 percent of all male family caregivers who performed medical and nursing tasks indicated that no one prepared them to do so.
  • 66 percent of male caregivers were more likely to be working compared to 55 percent of female caregivers.
  • 37 percent of male family caregivers did not inform their employers about their caregiving responsibilities.

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