Saturday, November 29, 2008
The following excerpts are from John Leland, More Men Take the Lead Role in Caring for Elderly , NY Times, Nov. 28, 2008:Parents
The Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving estimate that men make up nearly 40 percent of family care providers now, up from 19 percent in a 1996 study by the Alzheimer’s Association. About 17 million men are caring for an adult. * * *
Often they are overshadowed by their female counterparts and faced with employers, friends, support organizations and sometimes even parents who view caregiving as an essentially female role. Male caregivers are more likely to say they feel unprepared for the role and become socially isolated, and less likely to ask for help.
Women still provide the bulk of family care, especially intimate tasks like bathing and dressing. At support groups, which are predominantly made up of women, many women complain that their brothers are treated like heroes just for showing up.
But with smaller families and more women working full-time, many men have no choice but to take on roles that would have been alien to their fathers. Just as fatherhood became more hands-on in the baby boom generation, so has the role for many sons as their generation’s parents age.