Caregiving Report: The Gender Gap in Caregiving
I continue with a portion of the recent report on caregiving undertaken by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave.
There is a section of this report dealing with the caregiving gender gap and begins with the following:
Working Overtime: Women, Work, and Care
I think every caregiver can relate to the opening quote by a female participant “I love being able to care for my mother-in-law, but it’s hard to balance with my own kids and work. I’m always the one leaving work to take care of others.” The report then points out ‘daughter care’ has been described as the most reliable form of care in America. I add – that’s an incredible burden to put on the females in our society!
The report notes female caregivers spend, on average, approximately 60% more time caregiving for aging loved ones, compared to their male counterparts.
They add to this saying
“And the cost is higher for a woman caregiver who leaves the workforce, an average of 4324,000 is lost in wages and benefits, compared to $284,000 for a man.
“Employed women are likely to become caregivers regardless of salary level, while men who become caregivers tend to be lower wage earners.”
“Women are also three times more likely to retire earlier than expected to become a caregiver.”
“Women caregivers are undervalued, as are all caregivers.”
“…it’s no surprise that ‘daughter care’ has been described as the most reliable form of care in America.”
The researchers then asked non-caregivers “Whose Responsibility is it to Provide Care?” Guess who they think needs to shoulder the caregiving burden? Family of course!
• Over 80% believe it is a spouse’s responsibility to provide hands-on care,
• Over 80% believe it is a spouse’s responsibility to pay the cost of care.
• Over 60% believe it is an adult child’s responsibility to provide hands-on care, and
• Over 50% believe it is an adult child’s responsibility to pay the cost of care.
So non-caregivers firmly place the burden of caregiving on the shoulders of family as the ones who should provide care….I ask them each to give me a call and tell me how they feel when they are called upon to be a caregiver!
Strength, courage, and peace to all caregivers everywhere!