Taking care of a loved one with an illness, loss of autonomy or disability is not easy, regardless of caregiver’s gender. However, being a male caregiver brings with it some special challenges when it comes to asking for help or using services.
For caregivers belonging to the current generation of seniors, men were traditionally seen as breadwinners and generally not very involved in household chores and caring for loved ones. The male model thus focused on strength, pride and control, which is the opposite of asking for help, which involves vulnerability, humility and a certain dependence on services.
Many caregivers wait until they are at their wit’s end before seeking help, and this is especially true for male caregivers; and when they do seek help, they want a quick and practical answer.
They use information (illness, services, etc.), respite and home support (housekeeping, meal preparation, etc.) services more often. They prefer short-term solutions and are quite reluctant to share their private life in a group.
Male or female, we all need to be heard, understood and supported. So, dear caregivers, do not hesitate to ask for help, because even though your situation is unique, you are not alone!