The Reef Just for Male Caregivers – Managing Your New Role as a Male Caregiver
Hello and welcome. When someone has Alzheimer’s disease, their spouse or a close family member will likely become responsible for making decisions, providing basic care, and serving as their advocate. These responsibilities can create major changes in your existing relationship, and you may feel uncomfortable about assuming new responsibilities that your loved one once held.
It’s important that you encourage your loved one to continue to do as many things as they can, on their own, or with just a little extra help from you. And even if they initially feel resentful or angry with your help, you’re the person they trust the most. Be sensitive to how these changes affect your loved one, and when possible, talk to them and be sure to acknowledge their feelings.
Some changes you may face include:
Some of your new responsibilities will come naturally; others will have to be learned. For example, if in your relationship you’re not the person that manages the household expenses, investments or other financial matters, assuming this new role will require that you turn to a trusted financial advisor or a family member. They can teach you what you need to know and guide you as you move forward. Once you gain the knowledge you need, you’ll feel much more confident in your new caregiver role.
Some other changes you’ll experience include helping with planning and organizing; helping to schedule and keep appointments; tracking and managing medications; assisting with familiar tasks and helping to recall people and places.
Tips for the male caregiver:
- Be honest with yourself. Understand that you aren’t Superman, and you can’t do it all.
- Be honest with your friends as to what is happening in your life—friends and neighbors will empathize and truly be understanding of your situation.
- Educate yourself. Talk to the doctor or a geriatric care manager. Inquire about outside services that can provide assistance or support.
- If you have the assistance of formal caregivers or health-care workers, know that they can provide visual examples of how to deal with your loved one. Watch how they interpret nonverbal cures while providing assistance and learn to use these cues when you provide care.
- Don’t doubt yourself. Know that stress, anger, and frustration are common feelings among caregivers.
- If the opportunity arises, offer assistance to other male caregivers. As someone who’s been down the road before, you are a valuable resource.
To speak with us at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center, feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199. Thanks for joining us today and we’ll see you again next month!