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Director's Message

January 2013 - Men as Caregivers

I recently read an article stating that an estimated $450 billion of care was provided by 42 million family caregivers in 2009, contrasting that to $509 billion spent by Medicare (Business Week, Dec 3, 2012). All indications are that as more people live long into their “golden years” needing care, more of the task of providing care will fall on families, especially if the current safety net is diminished. This will be especially true for middle and lower income families who do not have savings or long term care insurance to help cover the costs. Traditionally women have been the primary caregivers for their parents and in-laws, but much as child-rearing roles have changed, we are also finding more men providing care to parents and spouses.

The National Family Caregiver Alliance reports that 34% of family caregivers are men. In my experience at PSRC, the caregiving spouse group is predominantly female while the Children of Aging Parents group (younger) is 50/50. 

A common stereotype is that men prefer to do tasks while women attend to feelings. Both are needed, whether the care recipient is at home or in a care community. Tasks may include picking up groceries, shoveling the walk, paying the bills, and transporting to doctor’s appointments. Emotional care includes the feelings of the care recipient, who may be sad or angry to be losing friends, spouse, or abilities, and the feelings of the caregiver, who is watching the person they once knew fade away and become more dependent. Many family caregivers try to manage both tasks and emotions. Focus your efforts on the part you do well and get help on the rest from family, friends and professional caregivers.

Being a family caregiver presents many challenges and can be overwhelming. One challenge is balancing caregiving with work and other responsibilities. Men are not expected to take time away from work to care for family, and therefore may have less support from supervisors and coworkers. Another challenge is learning to do the tasks that the care recipient once managed, such as bill-paying, laundry or cooking. Make sure you take care of yourself, including managing your own health care, eating and sleeping well, socializing, and making time for recreational activities. It is important to find sources of replenishment, because caregiving is emotionally draining. Create a network of support for yourself (women do this more intuitively) with people who will give you respite or who understand what you are experiencing. These tips will help you provide good care and give you moments to treasure together with your loved one that are not about care tasks.
Men are also problem-solvers who want to figure out the problem and solve it quickly, but chronic illness and dementia can’t be “fixed.” It is helpful to learn about caregiving and the condition(s) you are managing. But it can be frustrating that you will do a great job and the care recipient will still need more care over time.

PSRC and Trinity Counseling Service are hosting a “Men Do Care” conference on January 12 to focus attention on the growing population of male caregivers. The program will present resources that can make the tasks easier, address common caregiving concerns, and help participants assess whether they are taking care of themselves. It will provide an opportunity for men to discuss the emotional challenges and rewards of family caregiving and the unique ways that men approach caregiving. It will provide the opportunity to share experiences and begin to build a peer support network that will continue as a “men as caregivers” group.

This program is for all the men in this community who want to be great caregivers, whether it is an occasional ride to the store, driving five hours every weekend to check on parents, caring for your wife after surgery, or visiting a friend with dementia. Family caregiving can be one of the most intimate and rewarding experiences of life.   



Susan W. Hoskins LCSW


Previous Messages

October 2017: HomeFriends Celebrates 30 Years!

September 2017: Annual Report

July/August 2017: Preferred Caregivers: Daughters

June 2017: Cues & Clues

May 2017: Recharging

April 2017: GrandPals Celebrate 20 Years!

March 2017: Multi-generational Households

February 2017: No One Ages Well Alone

January 2017: Help at Home

December 2016: Gratitude

November 2016: Family Caregiving

October 2016: Annual Report

September 2016: Corporate Healthcare

July/ August 2016: Strategic Planning

June 2016: Is Your Home Age- Friendly?

May 2016 Part 2 : We Need Your Help

May 2016 Part 1: Going Solo

April 2016: Volunteering

March 2016: Partners In Caring

February 2016: PSRC's Strategic Plan

January 2016: Hope

December 2015: Gratitude

November 2015: Helicopter Children

October 2015: Is Princeton An Age Friendly Community?

September 2015: Annual Report

July & August 2015: Family and Community

June 2015: A Gift that Keeps Giving

May 2015: Is 60 the New 40

April 2015: Spring

March 2015: On Being Mortal

February 2015: Mentoring

January 2015: Winter Blues

December 2014 - Leaving A Legacy

October 2014 An Age Friendly Future

September 2014 Annual Report

July - August 2014

June 2014 - Romance After 50

May 2014 - Your Virtual Estate

April 2014 - Memory and Forgetting

March 2014 - Aging in Community

Observational Stay

February 2014 - Family Caregiving

January 2014: Attitudes about Aging

December 2013 - Giving

November 2013 - Healthcare Marketplace

October 2013 - Annual Report 2013

September 2013 - Total Brain Health® Fair

July - August 2013 My cat, My Father and Me

June 2013 - Age Friendly Communities

May 2013 - Navigating a Changing HealthCare Landscape

April 2013 - Becoming Visible

March 2013 - Navigating Life’s Transitions

February 2013 - Partners in Caring Princeton

January 2013 - Men as Caregivers

December 2012 - The Safety Net

November 2012 - Going Solo

October 2012 - Documenting Your History

September 2012 - A Journey of Transformation

July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving

June 2012 - Diversity

May 2012- Aging in America


March 2012 - Patient-centered Care

February 2012 - Can you Spare an Hour?

January 2012 - Challenges & Opportunities

December - Are you Prepared for Emergencies?

November - We need YOU!

October - Chocolate for Memory

September- Looking Back and Looking Forward

July - August 2011; Ageism

June 2011 - Accessibility

May 2011 - Paper retention

Knit Wits, April 2011

Lessons and Legacies, March 2011

Independent Living February 2011

Home Safety January 2011

Witness to my Life December 2010

Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010

Retire in 3D!

Strategic Planning September 2010

Am I Old? July 2010

Memory Clutter June 2010

Aging In America May 2010

Volunteering April 2010

Spirituality March 2010

Estate Planning February 2010

Encore Careers January 2010

Hiring Home Care December 2009

Annual Giving by Sharon Naeole November 2009

Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009

Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind September 2009

A Personal Perspective on Caregiving July/August 2009


Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity April 2009

Write your own obituary March 2009

Hobbies February 2009

Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
January 2009

Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look! December 2008

Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008

Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning October 2008

September 2008 Caregiver Dilemmas

Finding Rhythm and Purpose July/August 2008

Spring Cleaning II June 2008

V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008

Spring Cleaning April 2008

Have You Had the Talk Yet? March 2008

Get Moving with FitRhythms™! February 2008

My Condolences January 2008

Advocacy December 2007

What Are Social Services? November 2007

Sensitive Topics October 2007

Plan for the Future September 2007

The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007

Volunteering June 2007

Strategic Plan May 2007

National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007

Brain Health March 2007

Resiliency February 2007

Transportation January 2007

Season of Giving December 2006

Medicare Part D November 2006

April Hill McElroy October 2006

Civic Engagement September 2006

Change June 2006

White House Conference on Aging May 2006

Hearing Loss April 2006

GrandPals March 2006

Lets Talk February 2006

Eldertopia January 2006

Hoarding December 2005

Annual Report: November 2005

Are You Prepared? October 2005

Planning Ahead October 2005

Watch Your Language September 2005

Medicare Part D Summer 2005

Sue Tillett June 2005

The End of the Journey May 2005

Clutter March 2005

New Dietary Guidelines February 2005

Transitions January 2005

Funding December 2004

Caregiving November 2004

Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004

A New Look September 2004

Safe Driving Summer 2004

Food Safety June 2004

Communication June 2004

The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004

Seniors On The Move April 2004

Depression March 2004

McGreevey February 2004

Medications January 2004

Random Acts of Kindness December 2003

Civic Engagement November 2003

Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003

Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003

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