Father, son and caregiver. When caring for mom is a man’s job the dynamics for a family caregiver can create a different set of challenges. The duties of caring for a loved one are more than likely the same but the approach to navigating the reality may be different.
In this episode, Keeping it REAL Caregiving On-Air, host Julia Yarbough is joined by family caregiver, Dwane T. Hodges. He is one of the growing number of men in the United States who must take on the role of family caregiver for a loved one or elder.
Father, son and caregiver
How does a man in the prime of his life turn his attention to ensuring his mother is well cared for? What does that look like when that man is a single father and also must travel to a different state to tackle the needs of his parent? When caregiving is a man’s job all of these factors take on a new dimension.
According to the AARP Caregiving in the United States 2020 report, an increasing number of men in the United States are in the role of family caregiver; some 39% of those surveyed.
Mr. Hodges gives a personal and poignant description of how he managed to not only survive the task but in some ways, also thrive.
And not only did this family caregiver devote several years to making sure his mother was safe and loved until her death, Mr. Hodges then turned his attention to caring for not one, but TWO elderly aunts!
Keeping it REAL Caregiving takes you inside a situation many might not be able to accept – especially for a man – who made the deeply personal choice to place love of family above the norms and situations of any given moment. During this session, we learn some of the ‘go-to’ methods Mr. Hodges put in place to help him be an effective caregiver and also take care of himself; physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Needs of the many vs. needs of the one
For other men who find themselves in the role of family caregiver, whether to a loved one or an elder, Mr Hodges offers practical advice and tools to help navigate this chapter in life. He suggests three key steps men can take (or any caregiver):
Identify a support network of family and/or friends
Identify a hobby or passion that provides mental nourishment
Accept you can only do what you can do
Keeping it REAL Caregiving extends a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Mr. Hodges for sharing his story. Don’t have time to watch the full interview? You can LISTEN by visiting the Keeping it REAL Caregiving Podcast offerings.
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Do you have a story or a situation you are facing within the field of family caregiving OR securing care for yourself? We want to hear from you and you could be featured in a blog interview. It’s easy – just click here to contact us!