Page 6 - Scene Magazine 4501 January 2020
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mentaking up role asThe typical male caregiver is nearly 48 years old and is caring for one adult.The primary role of caregiving has not traditionally been taken up by the men in the family but the reality is that men do their fair share, they just do it differently.As many as 15 years ago less than 20% of caregivers were men but this number continues to change. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving that number has more than doubled to 40%.Another study completed jointly by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving tells us even more about the male caregiver.The typical male caregiver is nearly48 years old and is caring for one adult, typically an older female relative in her late 60s needing care because of a long-term physical condition. She most likely lives with him, or within 20 minutes.Based on the needs of his loved one he is spending 23 hours a week helping with activities of daily living as well as pro- viding a minimal level of nursing-related tasks such as managing medications. He works diligently to manage her care with the assistance of other non-paid care- givers resulting in a moderate burden of care, at least in the beginning. Interesting- ly enough, he is able to continue working as he has shared more of the burden of care. He is most often married, or living with a partner, and is in good physical health.6 SCENE 4501 I MEN IN BUSINESSWith more men stepping up to the plate it is further thought-provoking to note how care is managed differently by men than women. Of specific note is their approach to care; men approach care with a strategic, fix-it mentality. They tend to list out responsibilities and delegate tasks to ensure the list can be completed. Women caregivers, on the other hand, are more hands-on and less reluctant to ask for help in care-related duties.Male or female, the list of demands on the caregiver is heavy, even more so if they are still working, caring for their own family, and meeting community needs at the same time. It requires a calculated balancing act, that when stretched for time and attention, will lead to stress, anxiety, and other challenges.The good news is that there are others that can also help. Find a way for family, friends, and neighbors to assist with care needs. They are almost always willing, they just need to know how. Faith-based sup- port can be valuable and provide additional caregiving resources as well as prayerful support. Men might want to consider a caregiver support group to learn how others are balancing the demands. Male participa- tion might also be helpful to others.When the needs of a loved one be- come too great to handle alone additional support can be found with a number ofhome care agencies along with communi- ty agencies. Men have a tendency to wait until a crisis occurs, such as a hospital- ization, to be willing to seek a higher level of care. This may be due in part to the fact that men report feeling less prepared for caregiving than women and when a need arises they are not sure where to turn or who to ask. If you, as a friend or family member, notice changes in medical needs for a person in their care share your concerns. It might not be well received at first but at least it will get them thinking in another direction and as a result, poten- tially avoid a more serious incident.If your loved one, or the spouse of your loved one, is a Veteran, services might be supported through the Aid and Attendance Pension. Community Care Options provided through Senior Health Partners, with Calhoun County Senior Millage dollars, helps with activities of dai- ly living. Additional services are available through Calhoun County Senior Services as well. CareWell Services SW, can connect you with additional community resources. It is further possible that the MI Choice Waiver, based on Medicaid dol- lars, can assist with services in the home. Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. might also be able to provide assistance while al- lowing your loved one to remain at home. Many of these services have a financialCareGiBY SHERII SHERBANv

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