Study Finds That Men Provide Care As Often As Women
Contrary to popular belief, men provide as much caregiving to a loved one as women, according to a recent study. This comes as no surprise to many agents. It is “absolutely true,” confirms MaryAnne Ibach, a certified financial planner who works in the Falls Church, Va., office of MetLife.
“In my own family,” she says, “its my brother who is the caregiver for my mother. The study is finally pointing out that caregiving is a family affair.”
When Ibach talks to couples about long term care insurance, she says she talks to them as a family that will handle the challenges of providing LTC together, rather than suggesting that one member has more responsibility for the care than anyone else.
“I think men are not ducking the issue in terms of buying the insurance,” she says. However, she allows that some may not want to acknowledge the fact that theyre caregivers because they think an employer might not look favorably at it.
“In years gone by,” she explains, “having to deal with workplace and family matters was a stigma against women.”
Today, she adds, if there is a stigma, “I dont think there should be, because men make wonderful caregivers.”
Called the “The MetLife Study of Sons at Work: Balancing Employment and Eldercare,” the new study was conducted for the MetLife Mature Market Institute by the National Alliance for Caregiving, Bethesda, Md., and Towson Universitys Center for Productive Aging.
It points out that men are more likely to report that “neither their superiors nor their co-workers know they are caregivers,” says Sandra Timmermann, gerontologist and the director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, Westport, Conn.
She says the major findings are 1) that men are caregivers; 2) that men are doing the same kinds of care as women (with the exception of certain tasks) but are still in the workforce; and 3) the common wisdom–that women are the caregivers in the society–is incorrect.