Homewatch CareGivers of Northbrook has noticed an increase of 6% in the number of male caregivers employed since 2010, and believes that we will see an increase in the number of male caregivers as more men provide care for family members.
Northbrook, IL, USA, March 21, 2013 – A rising number of men are providing home care assistance to loved ones in America, and a corresponding trend is the increasing number of men working for home care agencies. Homewatch CareGivers of Northbrook has noticed an increase of 6% in the number of male caregivers employed since 2010. As men begin providing more care for family members, we will see an increase in the number of men who choose to make caregiving their profession.
Richard Marks, one of the male caregivers employed by Homwatch CareGivers in Northbrook explains that “If [the caregiver] can provide some sense of positive strength, some measure of consistent brightness and structure, and become a part of the day they look forward to, then you are doing it right, and it really doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman.”
As more men provide care for a family member, many of them are turning to caregiving as a profession. Betty Wilfong, Caregiver Manager at the Homewatch CareGivers office in Northbrook, states that many of the male caregivers she hires join the profession after having found satisfaction in providing care to a family member, and wish to continue putting their experience to use. Wilfong also notes that the percentage of male caregivers at the Northbrook office has increased from 11.5% of the caregiving staff in 2010 to 17.6% in 2013.
However, male caregivers’ backgrounds are diverse. Wilfong states that some of the male caregivers are students working while earning a nursing degree, and several have moved into the caregiving profession as a mid-life career change wanting to work in a field that positively impacts others. And some are professional caregivers who have chosen to do this work because of the reward of helping others.
Marks is one of the “mid-life career change” caregivers, and did not think he would continue in the caregiving profession until after working with one of the agency’s most difficult clients. On his experience Marks writes,“Even when it was not reciprocated, I kept trying to make her life better. Somewhere along the way, I started getting something back; it was appreciation from the family, from Mitch and Betty, and even from the client.” Today, Marks is a professional caregiver who gets personal satisfaction from assisting others.
In an effort to address the specific concerns of men who provide home care assistance for their loved ones, Homewatch CareGivers pioneered the first ever male-caregiver forum, the Male Caregiver Community, in September 2012. The Male Caregiver Community forum is a free, anonymous space where men can candidly discuss the challenges of being a caregiver.
Founded in 1980, Homewatch CareGivers has been delivering exceptional care to the elderly and their families for more than 30 years. Our mission is to preserve dignity, protect independence, and provide peace of mind for clients and their families through exceptional home care services.