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Friday, April 28, 2017

Breaking the stereotype: Male family caregivers

In North America, family caregivers are often the ones who deliver supportive services for individuals with chronic, disabling, or other serious health conditions. They identify and schedule services, provide emotional support, accompany their family or friend to doctors appointments, administer medications, and assist with personal care (such as bathing, dressing, and feeding), pay bills, and figure out health insurance. Such help allows individuals to remain in their homes for as long as possible. However, with an increasingly aging population, longer life expectancies,  and shrinking household sizes, the supply of family caregivers is dwindling and likely won't be able to keep up with future demand.

While traditionally women have taken on the role of caregiver, a recent report shows that more men are rising to the challenge. According to the Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 survey there are over 16 million male family caregivers in the United States meaning that roughly 40% of family caregivers are men. Some other notable statistics include:

  • The average age for a male family caregiver is 48 years old
  • Nearly half of all male caregivers (48%) have a high school diploma, or a diploma plus some college education, compared to only 37% with a college or graduate degree
  • More than 44% of all male family caregivers have household incomes of under $50,000/yr
  • Over half (56%) of male caregivers are married, while a quarter (26%) are single and have never married
  • Similarly to females, nearly half (49%) of all male caregivers felt that they had little choice but to provide care, especially those caring for a spouse or partner
  • More than half (52%) of current male caregivers expect to be caring for someone in the next 5 years, namely an aging parent or in-law 
Drawing on data from the Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 survey, a new AARP report titled Breaking Stereotypes: Spotlight on Male Family Caregivers highlights male family caregivers and provides current information about the experiences and challenges that male caregivers face today.

To read the report, click on the following link:

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