Did you know that in the United States, one in every five adults is a family caregiver? Totaling almost 65 million people, the majority of those who care for aging parents, grandparents and family members, provide more than 21 hours of care a week. In addition, approximately 15 million are caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. The National Alliance of Caregiving and Evercare estimates the value in unpaid care to be $375 billion.
As a leading provider of home care in Columbus, we wanted to share some information about the role that men and women play in caring for aging parents and loved ones.
Majority of Caregivers are Women
Traditionally, studies have found that women tend to handle most of the direct, hands-on duties of caregiving. They are more likely to stay home and forgo careers, while men tend to shoulder a greater financial responsibility. Recent statistics from the National Alliance for Caregiving indicate that 60 percent of family caregivers are female.
Shift Towards Male Caregivers
Since 1984, there has been a 50% increase in the number of male caregivers. Today, estimates show that almost 40% of family members providing care are men. This trend reflects a definitive shift away from only managing finances and arranging care, to becoming more directly involved in hands-on tasks.
What Families Should Know
As social norms are changing, more men are becoming caregivers for elderly parents. In addition to caregiver stress and burnout, men are vulnerable to financial stressors. In 2011, MetLife Mature Market Institute estimated that male caregivers over the age of 50 may lose an average of $144,609 in Social Security and $50,000 in pension benefits. There are a variety of organizations, such as the National Council on Aging’s free benefit check-up service that offer assistance in finding programs for which elderly parents could qualify to help with the financial burden.
If you provide care for an aging parent or loved one and feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities, help is available. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of in-home care that can offer you the respite you need, without sacrificing the quality of care being provided to your loved one. And because we provide both hourly and 24/7 care in Columbus, you can choose the exact amount of care that meets your individual needs. For more information or to request a complimentary consultation, call us at 614-481-8888.