Within the past few decades, gender roles and social norms have become increasingly blurred. Men are more hands-on with parenting, and it is not uncommon to see men taking on the role of stay-at-home dad. More recently there has been a spike in the number of males assuming the role of caregiver to their loved ones as well. Today it is estimated that 45 percent of caregivers are male.
Recent studies on how gender affects caregiving have revealed some key differences in how men undertake the role. Males are less likely to seek outside help and are more likely to view the position as a case manager or care coordinator would. In response to the differences men experience as caregivers, a variety of resources have popped up catered to the gender. The following list provides a good place to start if you, or a male you know has recently found themselves caring for a loved one.
1. Malecaregivercommunity.com: Founded in June, the Male Caregiver Community serves as an online community for males to seek support and advice from professionals and their peers.
2. BenefitsCheckUp.org: Designed to help adults 55 and older utilize government and private programs that aid in funding prescription drugs, health care, in-home services and other needs, BenefitsCheckUp.org is a goldmine for finding aid. Adults can also look into ElderCare.gov to find resources within their own community.
3. Work benefits: Many large employers offer resources to their employees including information and referral services. Contact your employee-assistance program for more information.
4. Veterans benefits: If your care recipient served at least 90 days of active military service, they may qualify for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ aid-and-attendance benefit, which helps pay for long-term care.
5. Caregiver Conferences: Conferences like the Fearless Caregiver Conference have seen a surge in male attendance as of late. A number of male support groups are also in existence and can be located at caregiver.com.
6. Geriatric-care managers: Social workers and registered nurses are available to help caregivers assess their loved one’s needs and determine what in-home services they may benefit from. There are various websites and message boards available to aid you in researching care managers.
Caregiving is not a job that should be undertaken alone. Utilizing as many resources as possible will make the experience much easier to navigate – for both men and women.