Back to tips

Being a male caregiver

Images_conseils_website (1000 x 1000 px) (1)

Are you experiencing life as a caregiver?

Are you a male caregiver? Do you see yourself in this role? Is this your reality?

Images_conseils_website (1000 x 1000 px) (1)

Being a male caregiver: a man, a father

Let’s get beyond the myths right away. There are many male caregivers; in 2018, men represented 42% of all caregivers in Quebec.

They are sometimes father caregivers, sometimes young caregivers. They are also caregivers for their spouse with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Although the cases may vary, the reality experienced by these men is often the same: difficulties, suffering, stress, sadness, fear of stigmatization and a complex daily life.

Faced with this reality, we see one observation: men who are caregivers make less use of the services and resources available to them. However, for men and fathers who are caregivers, there are practical solutions and tools available that correspond to their needs.

ic_play Play Video

Things are changing for men and fathers who are caregivers

  • Some organizations are focused on tailoring service offerings to the concrete needs of men who adopt the role of caregivers. For example, L’étoile de Pacho has had a Fatherhood facilitator since 2019;
  • Caregivers from generations X and Y, or even Z, are more open to expressing their difficulties and to the idea of asking for help and support resources;
  • It is not absolutely necessary to express one’s emotions in order to receive help; there is a variety of help available;
  • The contribution of caregivers to Quebec society is officially recognized; the Government Action Plan for Caregivers (2021–2026) directly addresses the issue of male caregivers. Public services and organizations are aware of the specific aspects of male caregivers and the Action Plan urges them to be so;
  • The Government Action Plan for Caregivers 2021–2026 considers gender analysis. This means that government decisions are made taking into account the reality you are facing;
  • Statistical data and scientific studies on men and fathers who are caregivers are becoming more and more numerous. The service network and organizations adapt to your reality.

Testimonials from male caregivers

These testimonies demonstrate the variety of experiences of caregivers. What difficulties, responsibilities, challenges or joys do you have in common with these men, these fathers, these lovebirds? As a man, do you recognize yourself as a caregiver? What would your personal story be?

Questions and possible solutions

My wife and I have been together for 35 years. She has Alzheimer’s disease and I take care of her…

It is possible that your spouse’s illness will require you to perform tasks that you did not do before, or did not do much of, such as managing the finances or grocery shopping. There are tools available to help you achieve independence in your role as a caregiver. Also, even if you are grieving and have already experienced ambiguous loss and grief because of the illness, you are sweethearts and you are a couple. Why not plan moments just for the two of you, for example, by listening to songs together that you enjoy?

I have a meeting with a counselor next week. How do I prepare?

Make the most of this first meeting! List your skills, your difficulties and the solutions you need in the short term, quickly and concretely, to continue providing support to the person you are caring for. Plan other meetings with the counselor to ask your questions progressively according to how your circumstances, your health and well-being and the condition of the other person evolve; the counselor will refer you to practical resources when you need them and will assist you with various steps if you wish.

I don’t see myself as a caregiver at all! What is involved for me and for my physically disabled daughter?

You are by no means the only one to have this reaction and it is up to you. In any case, you are not alone in this situation as a man and/or father who is a caregiver. There are practical, concrete resources adapted to your needs: administrative and fiscal resources, respite, home care support, transportation, information and documentation. The province of Quebec recognizes your contribution; recognizing yourself as a caregiver is opening a door to support and joining the community of the many facets of caregiving, beyond the myths.

We sometimes hear that men are reluctant to express their difficulties and emotions, but this is not my case at all! On the contrary, I want psychological help but I can’t seem to find it! Do you have a good plan?

Contact Caregiver Support Helpline by phone, email or chat. A counselor will be able to direct you to specific resources. You can also contact various support helplines.

I feel like I’m constantly having to juggle two realities. Is this normal?

Caregiving is a set of connections to be made, whether you are a man or a woman; combining work and care for the person close to you, suffering and the need to “be there,” parenthood and caregiving, concern for the person you are caring for and concern for yourself. There are certain specificities among male caregivers: the desire to keep our caregiving discreet, combined with the need to turn to others from time to time, or the desire to keep our troubles to ourselves, combined with the need to express them in order to access support services.

format_list_bulleted See all tips

Need to talk?

Contact our Caregiver Support Helpline for counselling, information and referrals.

Every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Free of charge.

call  Caregiver info :  1 855 852-7784
Live Chat