Caregiver in Mill Creek WA
Forbes reports that there are close to forty four million family caregivers in America. Taking care of the elderly accounts for over 34 million, 4 million provide care for disabled children and over 6 million do double-duties providing in-home care for both.
Many assume that only females provide this in-home or elder care. While it is true that females provide more family caregiving, the difference is not as great as one might expect. AARP reports that 40% of family caregivers are now male. In the younger age groups of family caregivers who are between 18 and 34 years-old, men and women are equally represented.
Issues for Male Caregivers
Men have different issues when becoming a family caregiver that are helpful to identify, in order to make sure these problems are minimized.
Caring.com reports that there are potential challenges, which include:
- Privacy Issues – Private time and private space are critical for good mental health. Special care needs to be taken to provide adequate privacy for the person being cared for and the caregivers as well as other family members living in the same home. Locks and physical barriers are important. For example, elders with dementia may burst into a room unexpectedly or attempt to enter the wrong bed. Moreover, proper caregiving does not mean being on-call 24/7. All that does is it leads to burnout. It is important for caregivers to get some time off and have a “personal” day.
- Not Getting Enough Sleep – This is an extremely common challenge, because many elders have odd sleep patterns, may not sleep through the night, or become afraid at night. Performing caregiving in shifts is one way to address this problem.
- Going at it Alone – This is one issue where men have to be careful. Caregiving.com notes that most caregivers are caught up in this syndrome, when they fail to reach out to others for help. In general, men have more difficulty expressing emotions than women. Men may ignore self-care in order to be “on duty” to help as a family caregivers. This phenomenon is called “lone-solider.” While this may appear admirable, it is not good for the mental health of the caregiver. Attending caregiver support groups is useful for overcoming difficulty in asking for help.
- Being Unprepared for Changes – This is especially challenging when caregivers do not make themselves aware of how any disease might progress. It is not uncommon for elders with dementia to escape the premises, wander off, and get lost or suddenly become physically violent without warning. Children with developmental disabilities may suddenly act out also. Contingency planning for possible difficulties is the best way to be prepared.
- Going Past Limits – It is important for any caregiver to recognize their own physical and mental limits and have respect for their own capabilities and feelings.
Men are increasingly involved in family caregiving and become quite good at it, when they have enough knowledge and support.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in Mill Creek, WA, call Guest Home Care. Our compassionate staff is happy to speak with you about your needs. Call today 425-268-7988
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