AARP report shows male family caregivers increasing in numbers

With all the strides we’ve made toward gender equality, there is still an wide-held belief that when it comes to family caregivers, it’s a “woman’s job.” But the numbers tell a different story. A new report by the AARP shows that 40 percent of family caregivers in our country are actually men.

The 16 million men represented by that figure is an increase from the 34 percent reported eight years previous.

A deeper look at the numbers reveals that these men are typically younger than their female counterparts, 47.8 percent to 49 and work slightly fewer hours at a job outside of the home.

That these statistics run counter to public perceptions of caregivers is not lost on the AARP. Amy Goyer, a family and caregiving expert with AARP says that until recently they were targeting their marketing to women, as the support groups for caregivers are typically female-dominated. However they are now producing videos profiling men in caregiving roles in an attempt to normalize the growing trend.

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The article profiled some of these men in depth and I recommend it as it’s an inspiring read.

It’s inspiring not because the men are assuming the role of caregivers but rather they display the same empathy for those under their care as women. Men are not typically perceived as equal in their ability to fill caregiving roles as women, despite the marked increase in male nurses in professional settings.

The more organizations like AARP can do to support everyone who care for loved ones, the better. With the ongoing transition of boomers into senior citizens, this will be a trying time for family caregivers. And the more support the better.

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