By Sylvana Rinehart

For all male caregivers …

In our society, women predominantly participate in the field of caregiving; however, in our capacity as senior care advisors, we have seen many men take on the role without hesitation.

Research suggests that some men feel they are just doing what needs to be done as their duty, often without realizing the gravity of their roles in the same way a professional would – making it unlikely they will seek help.  According to AARP, male caregivers are less likely to reach out to others for support than their female counterparts.

As a senior care advisor, I have had many good, in-depth conversations with men. I’ve helped them realize that they also need to take care of themselves first.  Just like in an airplane – you put on the oxygen mask first, then your child’s.  Men may have an inclination to deal with a loved one by themselves, but should consider reaching out to friends and family and talking to them about their challenges.  We as professionals know these challenges are real and exhausting.

The holiday season is a good time to reach out and start looking at alternative situations; be it in-home help; day stays; respite care, or even a permanent move.  The worst-case scenario is isolation and thinking you can do the work all on your own.