AlzU Blog

Which Family Member is More LIkely to Take on the Role of Caregiving?

If you ask anyone in the healthcare field working with those with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which members of the family are more likely to become caregivers, you would get a unanimous response that hands down daughters take on the role more often-but now scientific evidence can backup that observation.

A recent report by the American Sociological Association (ASA) reveals that women provide caregiving much more frequently than their male siblings.  In fact, the study found that for every 12 hours of care provided by female siblings, only 5.6 hours of care was given by males.  This means that parents are twice as likely to have a daughter step up to the plate as a caregiver that to have a son take on the caregiving role.

There are a couple of reasons that women tend to take on the role of caregiver much more frequently than men.  One reason is that by the time seniors are at the stage of needing a caregiver, men are often times farther along in their career path than women (who many times have taken time out to have kids and care for their families).

Women tend to be natural caregivers as they take on the role early in life as mothers.  But it’s important to start to enlist help from the males in the family as well.  As a society, we don’t really acknowledge the value of men as caregivers and if the playing field of caregivers is to someday be equal, we must give men more positive reinforcement for being caregivers. 

Another factor involves employees who need to provide benefits for caregivers such as tax credits, and paid leave time-similar to maternity leave for new mothers.  Caregivers for the elderly will be more and more in demand as we are nearing the time span when seniors over sixty five will outnumber those under 5 requiring care.

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