Follow
Share

I have been following this site for the last few years and it has been a great place to get information, ideas and support. I love that you can post about anything and no one is really judgmental. A couple of years ago, it seemed that there were a number of men that were involved in taking care of elderly parents - but it appears that is mostly women that are doing the heavy lifting. Is it that only women want to share their stories or is it that only women have these stories. Years ago, my dad's mom was very ill and in a nursing home and the nurse kept asking - doesn't she have any daughters? I thought it odd - they didn't ask doesn't she have any other children. This was at least 30 years ago - and I have a feeling it hasn't changed much. Am I off base - or is the expectation that the daughter is the responsible child for taking care of parents?

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
I am beginning to think that this expectation of the woman taking care of the aging parents is a throw back to a generation where there was no divorce and men earned the income and women raised the family and stayed at home. The dynamics of the family unit has changed drastically. As women , we started working full time and caring for kids. That was a good thing because in so many cases if you had not had a job when hubby hit midlife crisis and started dating cocktail waitresses, we would be up the creek without a paddle.
So later when the parents need care everyone reverts to the old formula even though in many cases there is no husband to earn a living for you while you cared for elderly parents.
As women we have to be able to do 5 things at the same time and do it with a smile in heels and pearls. I will never forget those old magazine ads where the woman was wearing a dress and an apron , cleaning the oven wearing a string of pearls and high heels ...........WTF had any of those ad execs ever cleaned an oven ???
(0)
Report

Seems fair to me. The majority of caregivers are in fact women but a few very special men are able to take on the job and do it well. Some do post here. Follow the Capt and cmagnum both frequent posters.
(1)
Report

In our house my husband cooks cleans does a ton. But caring for dad is beyond him. He's the primary health rep but when needed to doctors he wouldn't do it and got me to do it. He loves his dad wants him here just unable to do that so he does the rest of the stuff in the home to let me do that
(0)
Report

Several years ago, my sisters mother in law ( the sister that I adore who is in debt up to her eyeballs ) developed alzheimer's and of course if she went into a nursing home the family would lose the family home where she lived. The was a great discussion about who would take care of her. It went like this........ she had 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls. 2 of the boys were married and living very comfortable lives. One daughter was married and lived an even more comfortable life ( her ex was one of Ross Perot's right hand men and her son is a rock star in a band ) The other son had been recently released from prison in Calif and was trying the get his life together and the youngest daughter worked for the dept of human services for practically min wage and lived alone. ALL of the boy's immediately said they cannot possibly take care of her because it involved body functions and bathing and they just could not stomach seeing their mom naked or wiping her ass. Based on the boys reaction the wives ( my sis was one, said , I am not taking care of your mother for you if that is you attitude) So who was left. The very well off non working older sis and the barely made minimum wage younger sis. Guess who reluctantly "volunteered" to move in and care for mom? The youngest sister we will call "Q": The disease was hideous and progressed faster than anyone would imagine but none of the siblings would spend one single night with their mom so the young sister could have a night off. Eventually after several years she demanded a weekend off and the other siblings pooled the money to pay me to come for a weekend. I will NEVER forget how awful taking care of her at the later stage was and lost almost all respect for my brother in law and his siblings while really beginning to admire what the younger sister "Q" was doing in order to save what little bit of an estate was left.
Over the years because the house was a large 4 bedroom, several of her grandchildren decided to move in to help out YAAA RIGHT, they would watch her so "Q" could go to the store. But mostly they only crashed at 3am after barhopping. She passed away and to this day I admire "Q" and would really love to tell the others what I think of that situation but my sis says to shut up it isn't my biz so I never mention it. I did bring it up to my sis when we got into an arguement
my mother expecting me to care for her for free. I know what "Q" went through and I am not going to let it come to that with me.
(0)
Report

My experience has been that it is mostly women who do the caregiving. Their role is to nurture. I knew one son who took complete care of his mother and did an excellent job. He did not sweat the small stuff or complain when the tasks got yucky. Funnily enough his mother had a few dry runs at dieing he just laughed with the attitude that she will go for real when she is ready. A few husbands also do the job with varying degrees of competence but unlike women they are able to detach when they have a few spare minutes and they follow directions. I suspect most men don't think of finding a site like this for discussions. I think most of us stumbled upon it by change.

Jessie have you tried humming to empty your head?
(0)
Report

Jessie, I hate to be cynical but in my experience of what men are thinking about "nothing" precisely equates to "you don't want to know." And not necessarily in an off-colour way: it could be "God I'm bored" "can I get her to leave before the match starts?" "hmm, putting on a bit of weight there aren't we?" and so forth. I think it all comes under the heading of don't ask don't tell.

While we're into sweeping generalisations, I would propose that men are: better at delegating; MUCH better at the 'put your own oxygen mask on first' rule; infinitely better at not worrying about what they can't help. And rather than grumble about the unfairness of it all, we ladies would do better to take a few leaves out of their book and learn to shrug off groundless guilt.

By the way, I have just taken up an hour of the telecare service engineer's time - it took him five minutes to sort out the issue, then we had a nice cup of coffee and discussed the joys of caregiving. He has a six year old daughter on the autistic spectrum and shares night watches turn and turn about with his wife. Also, if you want to witness chaps being chatty, log on to a vintage car forum. Right bunch of gossips they are...
(1)
Report

JessieBelle, I tried meditation when I was really stressed. I felt yet more stressed by adding the meditation to all the other things I had to do. All I could think of was, "With all I've got to get done and I'm just SITTING here!!!" I tried yoga. I did okay with the exercises, but was asked not to return as my "let's get this done and off my calendar for the day" attitude didn't match what I was supposed to accomplish, there.
(1)
Report

i need to wash out my fridge but i want the parade FIRST . i aint fallin for that crap where i actually do an unpleasant chore and nobody seems to care .
(2)
Report

Most men walk away
(0)
Report

I know only my family and my best friends family first hand. They are caring for their mom they are only 2 girls in their family. Their case is different from mine as their mother is highly functining...goes to work and lives on her own.
I have 4 siblings... we are 3 girls and one boy. We the girls do the heavy lifting. The boy jas completely checked out. Reading most of the posts it gives the impression that most are women taking care of their loved ones. This is not to say that men don't. ..maybe they just dont have the time to post? IDK.
(0)
Report

In my world I have noticed that if a guy does something that is stereotypically a chore that a woman does, he brags about for days. Good grief, a chore is a chore, one doesn't need a parade.
(0)
Report

Wait a minute!!! I didn't say that I don't overthink things and obsess over them.. LOL. I think I just misrepresented myself. I just meant that I do have sedentary times when I blank out my mind. When I'm looking out the window at the leaves, I really am just looking out the window at the leaves.
(1)
Report

You're so lucky, geo. I would love if my mind would stop running through things. Sometimes I try to make it be quiet, but then I'm thinking of how I'm trying to make it be quiet. Argh! I was glad when I found other women had the same thing. Maybe it has something to do with the corpus callosum thing they say is more connected in women. Maybe if all the thoughts stopped, it would be like a train wreck with all the cars derailing in our brain.

People often recommend meditation. Yeah, right. All I do is sit there and think about how I need to concentrate on not thinking so I can let my mind go quiet. The hamster is in full spin.
(2)
Report

In my world, if a male does a chore that is stereotypical female, he will brag and brag about it. Good heavens, a chore is a chore, there is no need to have parade :P

[if this post is a duplicate, sorry about that, computer problems].
(0)
Report

In my world, I noticed if a male does something that is a stereotypical chore, he never stops bragging about it. Good heavens, a chore is a chore, one doesn't need a parade.
(1)
Report

As a comment on JessieBelle's quip, there's a cartoon called JumpStart and, quite a few years ago, it shows the wife thinking lots of things, the husband thinking nothing, the wife turns to the husband and asks, "what are you thinking," to which he says, "nothing." She starts to think about how he never shares his thoughts with her, he returns to thinking nothing.

My husband cut this out and gave it to me because it's reversed with us - sometimes I just chill out and look out the window at the changing colors or something and, for many years, he thought I was just being guarded when I said I was thinking about nothing - took him a long time to realize I really meant it.

It makes me laugh - pretty funny, actually. However, as for whether one gender really does this more than the other, have not been interested-enough to see if there are any research studies on this to know what the statistical standard distribution would be on this topic.
(2)
Report

I'm involved with some local caregiver groups and I'll say that, while it's not just women, here's what I've observed in my locality:
Men and women taking care of their spouse seems pretty equally split.
Women taking care of mom/dad/sibling is the huge majority, but there I do occasionally (rarely?) run across a man doing it.

As for this site, I've noticed a few men, but not sure if the split is similar to what I see in my locality.
(2)
Report

gladimhere ,
that was my first thought also . i totally " get " jesse's quip , but my mind never stops .
i was having a discussion a few days ago with two quite well off , men , customers . in listening to their various schemes of a new home or remodeling a new home , it became apparent to me that they , like most people , are scared to death of getting all caught up on things and having nothing to strive for .
id melt down in a week , mentally , if i didnt have some kind of challenge .
(0)
Report

I wish I had an off switch! Just cannot seem to stop the thinking!
(4)
Report

That wasn't an insult at all. I remember reading something a few times about when a woman asks a man what he's thinking and he says "Nothing" that he is telling the truth. Men aren't supposed to have their hamster running in the wheel at all times. I was thinking it would be nice to have a mind that was quiet occasionally.
(4)
Report

" Men are actually capable to thinking nothing at all "
never heard of such a thing jesse . generally men fight wars , repair machines and build the buildings in our society . that would be hard to achieve if there were only crickets playing fiddles inside our heads . in my younger years i sat around thinking about the long run , big picture , etc while ex wifey sat around thinking about how she had an atm in her pants and could be the life of the party somewhere if only she werent burdened with a family and husband .
(1)
Report

I believe the vast majority of Caregivers are women because of the stereotype that women cared for their children so naturally they should be able to care for their elderly parents. Gosh, women are use to spoon-feeding and cleaning up diapers.... [sigh].

As most of us know, caring for the elderly cannot be compared to caring for children. Children eventually learn to do things for themselves, the elderly stop learning how to do those thing. Plus, those who had children were usually in their 20-30's.... not in their 50's and 60's.... huge difference in energy levels.

The empty nest is once again full.
(1)
Report

The majority of hands-on caregivers are still women, but there are many men who do it. Even more men provide financial support and assistance to parents who don't live with them. We probably don't hear from men as much on here because men don't tend to be as chatty as women. Women's minds are working all the time, like a hamster in a wheel. Men are actually capable to thinking nothing at all -- a concept that is hard to grasp for women. Thinking about this, it isn't strange that women write more in a group like this.

Usually I don't know if a new person writing is male or female. We may have a lot more men here than we realize.
(2)
Report

elder care might have at one time been dominated by women but in the workplace today a lot of men are in construction and have flexible self employment status . ill bet there are a lot of men out there caregiving for elders . in our 50 ' s and 60 ' s , many of the rural men i know dont get on line for any reason so you wont hear from them much . theyre trucks get 40 rods to the hogshead and thats the way they likes it .. i have a male friend only a mile away who cared for his mother till a stroke put her in nh and cared for his dad until just now . hes become a candidate for nh because - dialasys - feeding tube - simply needs 3 shifts of care .
(0)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter