Caregivers Are Still Predominantly Women

  • September 20, 2013
Caregivers Are Still Predominantly Women

Regardless of the advancements in achieving gender equality in the workplace, it looks like gender still plays a big role at home. Nearly two-thirds of all U.S. adults currently serving as Caregiver for a loved one are women.

Cornell University gerontologist, Dr. Karl Pillemer, and Purdue University sociologist, J. Jill Suitor, were curious about why this responsibility was still falling on women and if those women have common characteristics that make them a natural choice for the role. Between 2001 and 2003 they interviewed nearly 600 mothers. Seven years later, they followed up with the mothers who were at the point of needing a Caregiver (approximately 140 of them, between the ages of 70-80) and and were very surprised by some of their findings:

  • Despite the fact that it’s taboo to admit, mothers are open to admitting that they have a favorite child.

  • Mothers have clear expectations of which child they expect to care for them as they age--unsurprisingly, the child is usually their daughter. If there is more than one daughter in the family, the Caregiving responsibilities often fall on the daughter that lives closer to home.

  • Daughters are twice as likely to become Caregivers than sons.

  • Children who live within a two-hour drive of their parents are six times more likely to become the Caregiver than children who live farther away.

  • In most cases, the child that the mother had originally identified as the person she expected to care for her turned out to be accurate. In the instances where the mother’s expectations of which child would be caring for her were not accurate, the mother was more likely to suffer from depression.

  • Based on the findings, Drs. Pillemer and Suitor suggest that families participate in counseling during both the Pre-Caregiving and Actual Caregiving stages in order to clarify and manage expectations.

Despite the advancements that women have seen in the workplace and in society, these gender roles clearly still exist. Why do you think that is?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Medical Guardian is a leading provider of innovative medical alert systems that empower people to live a life without limits.

Related Posts

Apr 18, 2022

Are Medical Alerts an alternative to in-home care?

This article shares the costs of home health care, the growing shortage of home health providers, and the…

Mar 18, 2022

Difference between a medical alert & medical identification bracelets

If you’re in the market for an easy-to-wear medical bracelet, there are many to choose from. So how…

Nov 20, 2020

Celebrating Super Hero Caregivers

Caregivers, you are superheroes—the ones who do it all, no questions asked. The energy you expend to your…

Nov 19, 2020

5 Ways Caregivers Can Focus On “Me Time”

Caregiver burnout is a reality for many people this time of year, which makes incorporating self-care for caregivers…

New to Medical Alert Devices?

Request a Buyer’s Guide.

By providing my e-mail address and my telephone number, I am providing express consent for Medical Guardian and its affiliates to contact me for non-marketing and marketing purposes using automatic telephone dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice message, text messaging, and automated email, even if my number is on a Do Not Call list. I understand that my consent is not required and is not a condition of any purchase. I also agree to be bound by Medical Guardian's Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

Get My FREE Buyer’s Guide