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Men as caregivers of the elderly: support for the contributions of sons

Authors Collins CR

Received 24 May 2014

Accepted for publication 9 July 2014

Published 11 November 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 525—531

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S68350

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Cynthia R Collins

Loyola University New Orleans, College of Social Sciences/School of Nursing, New Orleans, LA, USA

Abstract: Emerging practice research on filial sources of health care support has indicated that there is a growing trend for sons to assume some responsibility for the health care needs of their aging parents. The purpose of this work is to propose that outcomes observed through a secondary analysis of data from a previous mixed methods research project, conducted with a sample of 60 elderly women residing in independent living centers, supports this concept in elder care. The present study is a retrospective interpretation utilizing the original database to examine the new question, “What specific roles do sons play in caregiving of their elderly mothers?” While daughters presently continue to emerge in existing health care studies as the primary care provider, there is a significant pattern in these data for older patients to depend upon sons for a variety of instrumental activities of daily living. As the baby-boomers age, there is more of cohort trend for their families to be smaller, adult daughters to be employed, and for adult children to be more geographically mobile. These factors may combine to make health care support networks more limited for the current aging population, challenging the elderly and their health care providers to revisit the cultural gender norms that are used to identify caregivers.

Keywords: sons as caregivers, male caregivers, aging parents, filial support, informal caregivers
 

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