Tuesday, June 15, 2021

4 out of 5 male caregivers are stressed

Best-kept secret? That 16 million men in America are caregivers, about 40% of total, AARP reveals


That's the main theme of "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his breast cancer," a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

It's also the theme of an old AARP Bulletin story that literally had fallen between the cracks of my home-office desk. It's headline: What is the best-kept secret of caregivers in America? 40 percent of them are men."

After calling male caregivers "an invisible army," the piece reports that some 16 million men care for a family member or friend.

Jean Accius, PhD
But the article cites a big problem for them (via a quote from Jean Accius, PhD and now senior vice president of AARP Global Thought Leadership): Male caregivers don't feel "comfortable asking for help, and they don't necessarily know where to turn."

Although more than 80% of those polled by the University of Michigan found the tasks rewarding, four out of every five also found them stressful.

Almost all, the story says, said the duty made them more aware of their own future needs.

The article, which also details profiles of four caregivers from Virginia, California, Florida and Massachusetts, warns that — according to C. Grace Whiting of the National Alliance for Caregiving — men who thought of themselves as caregivers "should consider that they probably will be" (italics mine).

Another AARP report, "Breaking Stereotypes," says that 25% of male caregivers help with feeding and bathing, 29% with dressing, 30% with bathroom needs.

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