Men as Caregivers of Frail Elderly: Gender Differences in the Caregiving Experience

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Watson, Lori Nicole
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Middle Tennessee State University
Though most informal caregivers are women, the number of men providing care for aging family members is increasing. Yet, research on male caregivers is limited. More is needed to understand the unique skills, needs, and issues of men. Using secondary data from the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health (REACH II) study, this thesis evaluates the hypotheses that (1) males have lower caregiver burden than females, (2) males receive more social support than females as caregivers, and (3) male caregivers have less desire to institutionalize care recipients than female caregivers. Findings indicate that males do indeed have lower caregiver burden scores than females, but contrary to what was hypothesized, they receive less social support. No significant difference in desire to institutionalize was found. Possible explanations of these findings are discussed, as are implications for future research and practice.
Caregiver Burden, Desire to Institutionalize, Men as caregivers, Social Support