Here’s a new and surprising trend, and also a significant sign of the times. It’s estimated by The Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving that up to 40% of family care providers now are men, up from 19% in 1996. That’s about 17 million men caring for an elderly parent or family member. They face the same challenges, doubts and commitment as women, and then some. Something as mundane as bathing their mother can be confronting, as is reluctance to discuss their role at work for fear of appearing less than 100% work focussed. But underlying the challenge is the same timeless calling, as expressed by one caregiver: “… it’s a great opportunity here. Here’s the woman who nurtured me. She now is the child. You worry if you’re up for the challenge. If I don’t make this challenge, what kind of human being am I?”

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