Hello other Seek,
yes, I noticed that awhile back, the lack of ANY men here who are caretaking AD family members (except Martha's brother, who it seems is a shining exception, having cared for his AD MIL for 14 (?) years and now taking in his own mom after Martha's five-year turn)...
frankly that "conspicuous absence" stuck in my craw...
now I guess it's possible some men ARE doing caretaking but they are "going it alone" for whatever reason -- maybe the same type reasoning that makes them allergic to asking for directions even when they're lost -- so maybe they're just not sharing their experiences or asking for support in forums...maybe?
but I can't help thinking it goes deeper...
namely, the gloomy truth may be that almost all men (even the so-called "good" husbands and sons) are simply too selfish to offer such care...
boy do I HATE that conclusion...can anyone show me I'm wrong...
I've been here for about 2 years and cannot remember any man who was here more than once. Hummm, what gives? Oh, I know!! Men don't need directions, so obviously if any other that Martha's sterling brother are caregivers, they're doing fine on their own!! Just kidding, but my DH used to be one who would not stop to ask directions. Fortunately, he grew up!
What's up, guys???? Are you there??? Maybe some are lurking. Come out, come out where ever you are!
This is terrible--I have just spent ten minutes racking my brain, hoping desperately to come up with even ONE man I know, who took on the care-giving role in his family. I have gone through dozens of people in my address book--and cannot find a single one.
Part of this result is that I do seem to know mostly all-girl families....but whenever there WAS a male in those situations...he was never the primary caregiver. What is much more evident and typical, unfortunately, is my London friend's current caregiving situation. While her failing mother becomes increasingly dependent on Chris for daily living, companionship, etc......her brother (admittedly several hours away) opts out of everything but the occasional "state visit."
Yet--his mother dotes on everything this 61-year old, talented "boy" says and does....and she just LIVES for his "special" visits. He can do no wrong. Nothing is expected of him--so he contributes just that. NOTHING! Meanwhile, his sister, while helping her husband run a small engineering firm, still spends much of each day doing the "rounds" for her mother and making certain she is healthy and having a "good" day. She shops for her, has meals with her, takes her to doctors' appointments, concerts, plays, etc....and, in general, tries desperately to keep her Mum interested in life.
Yet, whenever her mother "glows" about her children--guess who it is who she just can't stop praising?! You got it!! Her son!
I feel awful writing so negatively about men's non-role as caregiver to their parents.....because I just KNOW that somewhere out there are intensively loving, caring sons, who devote themselves to their parent's remaining years.....acting as primary carer. (And I do know of one husband whose life--and heart--revolves around his wife with Alzheimer's.) So, I have to believe that there ARE "son/husband" caregivers out there--but that it is SO not a "male thing" to link up with others, for comfort and advice. I would imagine that even the title of "caregiver" is disturbing to some men's image of themselves. While they willingly take on the responsibility of "father" to their children....there is a certain discomfort in taking on this traditionally "woman's job."
But! I'm going to end on a positive note, because...I just realized that I DO know a man who acted as primary carer for his mother (though she lived in a rehab hospital)
And, that man was my Dad! While my aunt made the rare visit to her mother.....my Dad took on the major responsibility--and was there for her, with love and encouragement, every step of the way. (This was during the 1950's--when it was just assumed that the "sister"--not the "brother"--would care for the parent. And, I remember family and friends, when discussing my grandmother's illness, would refer to my aunt as the "selfish" one!)
Anyway! Guys!! PLEASE! Come out on the board and REFUTE what I've observed! :-) I am truly trying to give you the benefit of the doubt! :-)
In thinking in terms of husband caregivers, my uncle was a world class prince in caring for his sweet wife for years at home, then visiting and caring for her daily at the nursing home he finally had to put her in. This care was given in the 1980s and early 1990s. Dear Audrey died in 1992 and her everloving husband died in 1998. No internet support groups then.
So there's another caregiving man! Where there have been two, there must be others.
Ummm, not a long timer here, but am a buttinski, lol.
Time Magazine just had an interesting article about caregivers, sibling rivalry and other points I can't remember now and don't have my copy here, durn.
But they affirmed that the responsiblity of caregiving is generally given/taken by a family female.
Told one story about the golden son mother adored, but it was the nongolden daughter who fought to care for her when she developed dementia. The golden son, on the other hand, fought for control of her assets and wanted to put her in a nursing home.
Trying to be fair though, I've seen a few caregiver men post elsewhere every now and then.
Welcome!! You're not a buttinski, you're joining in on the conversation. Chime in anywhere and any time - we're friendly and are in or have been in this crazy boat and will be glad to hear what you have to say!
I'm wondering if the idea that goes through men's brains is that they
have left their parental family and have only obligation to the family
I know that's the case with my brothers. Self involvement is a big
part of it. That which they created is supreme. But it may also be
that they only have so much to give so they place tight controls
on who "gets" from them.
And I do think that men tend to plow forward and ask questions only
if something is on fire. So maybe a board like this just isn't the place
But I find it interesting. And would love to be proven wrong in my
suspicion that men are just much more about them than the other
I am a girl (I guess I have not said.). I want to say a part too. I do not know if yall are talking only about Alzheimers - but I know of 2 men who helped (greatly) to take care of their wife and mother (the same woman). She was dying of cancer and there were 4 of us. The husband, the son, the daughter and me - the daughter-in-law. Plus home health care and then hospice.
I think men (especially older) just do not search for help. It would probably release some of their stress if they would!
I'm new here infact this is my first post but I wanted to put in a word about my brother who is helping with my father. My brother and I have both moved in with my father to take care of him, we try to split the load equally but truthfully I think he does much more than I do. I think he is doing more of the day to day care. I am having a harder time dealing with it while he is more calm and takes it in stride. I am the one who needed to search out websites to help me cope, he is less apt to seek support. I think it may be that way in general with men toughing it out on their own while women seek out others to help then get thru.
Yes us guys are caregivers too. I've been caring for my father for about 3yrs. Assisted him in living in his own home for 2 and half years, kept him in my home with myself and wife for half a year and recently with reservations placed him into a facility. Hated to do it, but really didn't have a choice as I will become a father myself in October and realistically know that I can't balance his needs and the needs of my baby at the same time under the same roof.
I came to the conclusion awhile back that male and female caregivers require different types of support. I have not been satisfied with the alzheimers association and believe they are not equipped for the needs of male caregivers. All of us are in the same boat but go about things differently. I deal with stress by planning and organizing, find it keeps me busy and decreases the stress.
Hope this alleviates some of the fear that all guys are dogs.
I know all guys are not dogs ..my one and only dear brother has proved that ..he took over the care of our mother just over a week ago so I could get on with my life after 5 years .. I thnk God for you and him and other men (and women) who do this job ..