Men & Caregiving: Caring for an older, ill or disabled adult. Tips to make your job easier.
As a man providing care for a parent, spouse or other loved one, you may face unique challenges, but there are things you can do to make caregiving easier. Here are some tips that will help you succeed.
Know that you are not alone:
*Our Society tends to view caregiving as a female role. In fact, men make up nearly 40% of family caregivers.
*Men can be very successful in this role. Community resources can help you be the best caregiver possible.
*Get as much information as you can about your loved one’s condition.
*Find out what types of care your loved one will need, both now and in the future.\
*Talk to health professionals and other care providers or find information online.
Be Open to new Skills:
*You may have to learn to shop, cook, clean or do other household tasks that are new to you.
*You may need to learn to bathe or dress a loved one.
* At first, you may feel uncomfortable doing these things but over time it will become easier.
Ask for Help!
*A friend or a relative may be able to help you learn new household tasks. A visiting nurse or home health aide can help you learn to provide personal care.
*Find out about community resources such as adult day care or transportation services.
*If you work, ask about employee assistance programs for caregivers.
*Look online for other resources and support groups.
Learn to delegate:
*Decide which tasks you want to do yourself. Get help with other tasks.
*Try meal delivery, a cleaning service or online grocery shopping.
Take care of your own health:
*You can not take care of a loved one if you feel sick or tired.
*Make sure that you are eating well and getting enough rest and exercise.
*Take regular breaks.
*See a health care provider if you are depressed, drinking more alcohol than usual or using prescription drugs to help you cope.
Find support and male role models:
*It is normal to feel strong emotions such as grief, anger and helplessness. It is not a sign of weakness to feel or express these emotions.
*If possible, spend time with other men who face similar challenges. This may help relieve stress.
*Share your feelings with a caregiving class, support group or online chat room.
Take Pride in your Role:
*Male caregivers are becoming more common but you may find people react to a male caregiver differently than they do to a female caregiver. This can happen even in hospitals or nursing homes.
*Use the opportunity to educate others about your role as a competent, caring provider.
If you’re a man taking care of an ill or elderly family member, you’re not along. With smaller families and more women working full-time, many men are taking on caregiving roles. To locate resources in your area, visit: http://www.eldercare.gov.
*Written by Tara Leonard for Journeyworks Publishing
P.O. Box 8466
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
*Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Journeyworks pamphlet on caregiving that will help everyone. Please spread the word of helping a loved one and know that you are not alone in this path. Take a deep breath and realize that what you are doing is helping a person who can not help themselves and it is a noble job.