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Providing care to any ill person is a challenge for anybody Most ofthe time the person who provides the care is inexperienced in providingcare for the ill and can feel uncertain about what exactly he or sheshould do Care has traditionally provided by an adult female Maleshave traditionally worked at jobs while females stay at home and takecare of domestic tasks such as cleaning child-rearing and of courseproviding care to the ill members in the family Times are beginning tochange however and more males are beginning to provide care for sickfriends or relatives This indicates the need for new research abouttheir caregiving experiences and problems that they face while providingcare along with improvements in the existing research on caregiving ingeneral In addition to explaining how male caregivers may be able toreconcile caregiving with masculinity I will also point out some flawsin existing caregiver research Both actions are necessary because theyrespectively show that men may not necessarily be poor caregivers andbecause problems in research methodology can cause studies to bemisleadingDuring the summer of 2011 I worked as an intern at the Eastern AlabamaRegional Planning and Development Commission Area Agency on Aging Myprimary job was to work with the director of the Alabama CARES programto help her provide care to her clients This program focuses primarilyon dementia caregivers and provides eligible caregivers with respitecare Caregivers who take care of a person age sixty or older orfifty-five and older with a dementia diagnosis receive a small amountof money to pay a caregiver to come in and help take care of the carerecipient The amount of money that they receive allows them to have anassistant for approximately eight hours per week Extent of Male Caregiving I noticed while I was looking through files of current clients that fewmales participate in this program There was approximately one malecaregiver for every eight female caregivers In order to learn moreabout this phenomenon I decided to discuss male caregiving with mysupervisor
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