Understanding Male Caregivers’ Emotional, Financial, and Physical Burden in the United States

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Originally published in Healthcare, an Open Access journal, 2019, 7(2), 72.

This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging, Chronic Disease, and the Impact of Long Term Care.



Men caregivers face caregiving burden, have weak support networks and are less likely to seek out programs which increase their caregiving capabilities and help them cope with this burden. Using the 2011 and 2015 National Study of Caregiving (NSOC) database and hierarchical regressions, we studied the emotional, financial, and physical burden of male caregivers as spouses, sons, and other caregivers by assessing the impact of caregiver characteristics, tasks and resources for each subgroup. We highlighted the importance of using a nationally representative database for men caregivers only and emphasized that these caregivers are not a monolithic group. We found that all caregivers experienced these three burden types, particularly elevated emotional stress, with sons reporting the highest emotional and financial strain levels. Assisting with personal care was the most stressful task and caregivers vastly under-utilized support and training. Our results suggest that burden suppressants included having family and friends help with caregiving, having time to decompress, and feeling appreciated by the care recipient. These findings offer insight for devising future policies that intentionally include relationship and burden type to encourage improved and more caregiving from men while supporting their well-being.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.