In the United States, family caregivers are the backbone for the delivery of supportive services for individuals with a chronic, disabling, or serious health condition. 40 percent of family caregivers of adults are men—which equates to 16 million male family caregivers in the United States.
Source: Breaking Stereotypes: Spotlight on Male Family Caregivers
They identify, arrange, and coordinate services and supports; provide emotional support; accompany their family member or friend to health provider visits; administer medications; assist with personal care (such as bathing and dressing); pay bills and deal with health insurance; and perform other vital activities to help individuals remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible.
Although the “typical” family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman who takes care of a relative, caregivers on the whole are becoming as diverse as the American population. Men, a group traditionally not recognized for performing caregiving tasks, are rising to the challenge. These husbands, brothers, sons, sons-in-law, partners, friends, and neighbors are joining, either by choice or necessity, the army of family caregivers providing care across the country. However, there is a paucity of research that has exclusively examined the impact of caregiving within and among diverse male family caregivers. Prior studies were predominately qualitative in nature and several had methodological challenges, including small sample sizes that limited the generalizability of the findings.
Using data from the Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 survey, this Spotlight highlights male family caregivers, providing current information about the experiences and challenges facing them today.
Caregiving in the United States 2015
The 2010 Family and Individual Needs for Disability Support Survey (FINDS) conducted by The Arc (2011) shows that family caregivers play a critical role in providing supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Source: Research Brief: Family Caregiver Support for People with IDD | Family Support Research and Training Center
This databrief describes the kinds and amount of supports provided by families to individuals with IDD living in their family home. Caregivers provided an average of nine different kinds of support and more than half of all caregivers reported providing these supports more than 40 hours per week. More than half of caregivers in this survey reported being aged 50 or older, highlighting the critical need to start planning for a future when aging caregivers are no longer able to continue providing significant amounts of support for their family members.Click this link to download the data brief.
Welcome to the first issue of the NTG Caregiver News (Volume 1 Issue 1) March 2017. This publication has grown out of the NTG’s Family Caregiver Online Support Group for those who are caring for, or have cared for, loved ones with Alzheimer’s and intellectual disabilities.
Once each month, we open the airwaves to share what is happening in our lives and with our loved ones. To keep the group effective for support to the families, we limit participation to those who have loved ones with dementia or are direct caregivers. As we identify topics we would like more information about, we invite specific professionals to lead our conversation. Upcoming issues of this newsletter will include some of the highlights of those conversations. In addition, watch for links to helpful resources.
This issue includes some general information on intellectual and developmental disabilities and dementias, as well as an introduction to the National Task Group (NTG) on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices. We encourage you to visit the NTG website for more information on their activities and to become a member.
We have learned through interactions with families in the online support group that there are lots of questions, many uncertainties, multiple feelings of loss, limited resources in local communities, and great recognition that love is most important for all of us.
Please do circulate NTG Caregiver News (Volume 1 Issue 1) March 2017 among your colleagues and to any family caregiver groups with which you have contact.