One of the biggest challenges facing caregivers today is the tug-of-war feelings between work duties and caregiving obligations. It is important to remember that men are just as likely as women to provide care for an elderly parent. In fact, men are more likely than women to report facing consequences at work as a result of fulfilling their caregiving responsibilities.
Consider these statistics from a survey of working family caregivers, conducted by Home Instead, Inc.:
Women spend an average 19.6 hours a week as caregivers.
Men spend an average 16.5 hours a week as caregivers.
Women are more likely to report feeling they occasionally have to choose between being a good employee and being a good daughter.
Women are also more likely to report feeling guilty when work takes them away from their caregiver responsibilities.
Men are more likely to report having been penalized at work as a result of fulfilling their caregiver responsibilities, including being passed over for raises.
While the underlying cause of these trends is uncertain, it may be a result of outdated gender expectations. If you are a male caregiver feeling torn between your work and loved one, consider approaching your employer to ask what sort of assistance they may be able to provide.
Source: “Sons in the Workplace: The Role of Male Caregivers.” Caregiver Stress, www.caregiverstress.com/stress-management/daughters-in-the-workplace/role-of-male-caregivers/.