According to recent studies by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving, an increasing number of men have taken on the role of caregivers in their households. Compared to figures from fifteen years ago, nearly twice as many men are now looking after a spouse or loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The numbers have jumped to 40 percent from the 19 percent reported fifteen years ago.
Researchers have noted a variety of reasons for the increase. Alzheimer’s and dementia are much more common in women over 65 than in men of the same age — 3.8 million women have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, versus 1.8 million men. The economy may also be a factor: with layoffs and early retirements much more common after the recent economic downturn, more men are at home and available to care for their afflicted family members. Researchers also cite changing gender roles and longer life expectancy as contributing factors.
Alzheimer’s can put a great strain on caregivers for many reasons — as the condition worsens, more constant supervision is required, and there is often a heavy emotional toll on top of the disease’s physical, social, and financial impacts. Experts have noted that while women tend to experience a greater emotional impact from taking care of loved ones, men are often more stoic.
If you are overwhelmed by the demands of caregiving and need assistance, there are options. Learn more about Bon Secours home health care services and assisted living facilities.