More Men Caring for Aging Parents, Study Finds
By Michelle Gerdes from the Wall Street Jounral
When you think of someone caring for an elderly family member, chances are you conjure up the image of a female caregiver. While the stereotype of a family member taking care of an aging relative is a woman, 45% of Americans in that role are men, according to a Pew Research Center report published in July and written about here in the Family Value column recently.
Why the shift? Well, as we know, social norms are changing and men are increasingly taking on some of the care-giving, if not becoming the primary caregiver. Also, the aging population means there are more elderly parents and spouses to care for. And since the children of aging parents are more geographically dispersed than they used to be, location, rather than gender, is a major factor in who is left with the bulk of the responsibility.
As Kelly Greene notes in her Family Value column, many men are less likely than their female counterparts to seek out help. She lists resources set up to help working caregivers. Greene also notes that men who are in the caregiver role now face lost wages and benefits from taking time off to care for a loved one, something working women have experienced for decades.
Published on December 21, 2012.