In the UK 42% of Carers are men, but as a husband, partner, dad, son, brother or any other relation or friend you may not feel you are a Carer.
Looking after those we care about is something that we do. You may not think of yourself as a Carer, but if you look after a relative or friend who can’t manage without your support you are a Carer and our services are for you.
We understand that every caring situation is different and it can sometimes feel difficult to ask for help and support. You might be worried about asking for help or feeling unsure about what might happen if you do.
You might find yourself doing things you have never done before or that you are not comfortable doing as a Carer. You are not alone, research shows that many men find it harder to ask for help and support, in a study carried out by Carers Trust and the Men’s Health Forum (link to full report at the bottom of the page). participants said:
“Ladies seem more able to ask for help and support. Men don’t talk about the need for support. They talk about football not feelings.”
“Generally, men are stronger than women, so this must help with any lifting. I feel that incontinence in women can give more problems than men. My wife uses pads that are largely ineffective, and still has to change her undergarments which she is unable to do herself. I often have to sneak into the female toilet to help her, when there is no disabled toilet available, and this can sometimes be embarrassing.”
“In my position, I’m 72, retired, always been the man about the house, DIY. I can put my hand to most things but never cooking, or made up food, suddenly I have got to learn, my wife can’t no longer.”
“Difficult sometimes to undertake personal care support for my mother (hygiene issues and washing).”
If you are working and caring we know this can be hard to manage, and you may not want to share your personal situation with your employer or colleagues.
The study also noted that more than one in four male Carers in employment would not describe or acknowledge themselves as a Carer to others, meaning they may not get the support they need.
If you spend most of your time caring, you may find it difficult to do the things you enjoy or spend time with friends or family. You might be feeling lonely and may find it hard to share this with others.
Whatever your situation, please contact us we will listen to what matters to you and give you information about support available to you.
“My wife was diagnosed with secondary progressive MS in 1999. Her support needs have increased since then and she now uses a wheelchair and isn’t able to move. Getting breaks has been the biggest issue for me.”
David (59) lives in Canterbury and is the main Carer for his wife who has multiple sclerosis. He finds it increasingly difficult to get a break from his caring responsibilities.
Read more of his experience and how we supported him.
“My mother was living alone when Covid hit and we quickly recognised she wouldn’t be able to manage alone and took steps to get a diagnosis of her dementia. We sold our house, moving to a property where Mum now has a self-contained flat. We can take care of her daily needs, but she can maintain dignity and a degree of independence.”
Andrew became a full-time Carer for his mother who has dementia in 2020 and started a new business working from home to help him combine work with caring for her. Read more of his experience and how we supported him.
If you look after a relative or friend who could not manage without you, we can provide the information and support you need by phone, email, online, text and in person.