Friday, October 7, 2011
Hispanic, Mexican American Male Caregivers (Alzheimer’s Video 2:48)
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, in collaboration with AARP, more than 65 million people, 29% of America’s population, are caregivers for the chronically ill, disabled, or aged family members or friends. A family caregiver is usually a woman. Typically, she is 49 years old and caring for her widowed 69-year-old mother who does not live with her. She is married and employed. More than 37% have children or grandchildren under 18 years old living with them.
With these statistics, it’s little wonder we seldom hear about male caregivers, but they are out there with stories that need to be told. This post focuses on Hispanic, Mexican American male caregivers, particularly those taking care of parents. In a federally-funded study of 110 Mexican Americans who were caregivers in lieu of a female relative, the following results were reported:
1) Caregiving strain and burden in Mexican American males may have more to do with physical and emotional costs than financial ones.
2) Mexican American males providing personal care for their mothers adopt a matter-of-fact approach as they act "against taboo."
3) This caregiving approach is a new way to fulfill family obligations
Ric Gomez quit his job and became a caregiver for his father who has Alzheimer’s disease. In this video interview with KPBS reporter Amita Sharma, Ric shares the triumphs and challenges of his caregiving experience.
Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.