AlzU Blog

Growing Number of Male Alzheimer's Caregivers

You may be surprised to learn that although the majority of caregivers today are still women, a growing number of men are becoming caregivers to those with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  In fact, the number of male caregivers has risen from 19 percent to an astounding 40 percent in the last fifteen years.  One factor driving the growing number of male caregivers is that nearly two thirds of those with AD are actually women (compared to only one third of the AD population being men).

Since Alzheimer’s Disease is usually a chronic disorder (manifesting over a long period of time), many caregivers report a high level of stress associated with caring for a loved one with AD.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association; “while everyone deals with it in their own way, male caregivers can sometimes find it harder to ask for help than women.”

Another major factor for male caregivers is when loved ones are no longer able to manage ADLs (activities of daily living).  According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, men who are caregivers report a higher stress level when their loved one loses the ability to perform ADLs independently.

Many male caregivers report they have developed an ability to learn to perform new skills such as cooking, shopping and housekeeping.

Support for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

There are many support groups and online resources designed to help caregivers cope with the daily stress of caring for their loved one with AD, find supportive services (such as adult day centers, and discover tips on self-care.  Here are some primary websites that offer help for caregivers:

The National Association for Area Agencies on Aging at

The Alzheimer’s Association at

AARP Caregiving Resource Center

One challenge that many experts are concerned about is the hesitance of men to reach out to ask for help.  According to the president of the Alzheimer’s Association in New York, only a small percentage of men call the helplines. 
“What really dismays me is that only 20 percent of the callers to our helpline are men,” says Levine. “I know that there are more men out there who are providing care for a parent, for a spouse, or for another relative. I want them to know that help and support is out there for them.”

As the numbers of those with AD continue to grow (an estimated 15 million by 2050), it’s anticipated that more and more caregivers will be male.  This shift brings about a particular concern for just how many men tend to compartmentalize their emotions and struggle with the many stresses of long-term caregiving.

It’s vital to start to stress the importance of reaching out for support to all caregivers - male and female - to help individuals cope with the physical and emotional hardship and social isolation that many caregivers of loved ones with AD experience.  Learn more about self-care for caregivers and other Alzheimer’s topics by signing up for our 25 topic course for caregivers by CLICKING HERE.

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