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Alzheimer's Disease Caregivers - Education Modules

Male Caregiver Strain or Burden:
Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer's Disease

Author: Cheryl E. Gies, DPN, APRN, CNP

Many men are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's Disease (AD). You may be one of these men. You probably already know that over time, persons with AD gradually have more and more trouble thinking and performing everyday activities. At first their "forgetting" is not much of a problem and seems easy to explain, ignore or work around. Most male caregivers adjust to these early memory problems by trying to keep daily life as "normal" as possible. Oftentimes, other relatives or friends bring problems to their attention.

As time goes on, your loved one's memory and ability to perform self care will decline and you will notice that it takes more of your energy to keep up with day to day responsibilities and caregiving tasks. Most men do not like to ask for help and try to handle caregiving "like a man" by focusing on the tasks and blocking their emotions. Sadly, AD caregiving is not limited to days or weeks; but, becomes more and more complicated as the years go by. The long term effects of this care work puts you at risk for caregiver strain. Helping you find ways to deal with the long term strain or burden of caregiving from a man's view may be helpful and is the topic of this educational module.

Learning Objectives:

Using this module will help you to:

  1. Recognize your own degree of caregiver burden.
  2. Recognize when to seek help.
  3. Identify where you can receive help.

Presenter:

Bob Hausch

Robert Hausch, MSW, LISW
AD Care Counselor

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Presentation Notes:

Web Links:

1. Click on this link to read “The Hidden Male Caregiver

2. Click on this link to read Spotlight on Male Family Caregivers

3. Click on this link and then click on white arrow in the center of the red circle to view video on Caregiver Humor 

How Are You Doing:

1. Click on this link to check your Caregiver Burden score

2. Click on this link to check your stress level Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale

3. Click on this link to use the Caregiver Stress Checklist

Take Care of Yourself:

1. Click to read Self-care for the caregiver

2. Relaxation Techniques (Dementia Care Central)

Dealing with Stress:

1. The Emotional Rollercoaster of Caregiving (Demential Care Central)

2. Strategies for Dealing with Stress (Demential Care Central)

Other Resources:

Click on these links for information on:

1. Caregiver Depression (PDF)

2. Adult Day care (PDF) and Adult Day Care Centers

3. Respite Care Respite Care Guide: Finding What's Best for You (PDF)

4. Hospice Care Hospice Care (PDF)

References:

Baker, K.L. & Robertson, N. (2008). Coping with caring for someone with dementia: Review the literature about men.
Aging & Mental Health,12(4), 413-422.
Calasanti, T. & King, N. (2007). Taking "women's work" "like a man": Husbands' experiences of care work. The
Gerontologist, 47(4), 516-527.
Hayes, J., Zimmerman, M.K. & Boylstein, C. (2010). Responding to symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease: Husbands, wives,
and the gendered dynamics of recognition and disclosure. Qualitative Health Research, 20(8), 1101-1115.
Nichols, L.O., Martindale-Adams, J., Greene, W.A., Burns, R., Graney, M.J. & Lummus, A. (2006). Dementia caregivers’
most pressing concerns. Clinical Gerontologist, 32, 1-14.
Pinquart, M., & Sorensen, S. (2006). Gender differences in caregiver stressors, social resources, and health: An updated
meta-analysis. Journal of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences, 61B(1), 33-45.
Zarit, S.H., (2008). Diagnosis and management of caregiver burden in dementia. In M.J. Aminoff, F.
Boller & D.F. Swaab (series editors), Dementias (pp. 101-106), New York, NY: Elsevier.
Last Updated: 8/28/18