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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Caregiver Dad

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 Caregiver Dad

As a wise person once stated, there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” For example, when we started hosting conferences in 1998, three years after both Today’s Caregiver magazine and were launched, the statistics would have suggested that only around 20 percent of our 350 attendees would be male caregivers.  Yet, as we walked around the conference hall, by our rough estimates, at least 40 percent of the caregivers in attendance were men.  And a few years later, freshly minted statistics stated that, lo and behold, the percentage of male caregivers was around 45 percent.  Don’t get me wrong; there are many of our events where I feel like the lone male in the room, but not always.  And not to stereotype, but there are specific challenges that male caregivers can face; for example, changing your mother’s undergarments
As Father's Day rapidly approaches, I would like to take a moment to honor the male caregivers in this world.  Some examples of dedicated male caregivers that come to mind are my friend Steve, who moved to India with his ailing parents to ensure they were both able to have affordable healthcare for as long as they lived. (He is back stateside living in Iowa.) I wouldn’t want to forget my own grandfather who, until his very last days and even as Alzheimer’s disease was stealing him away from us, was only interested in the health of my grandmother as she was dealing with the effects of strokes, diabetes and depression. Nor my own dad, who along with my mom, cared for their family and friends unswervingly and unselfishly, and to whom everything we do for family caregivers is dedicated.  
Please share your story of male caregiving, either as one or someone who loves one.  We will share your stories for next week’s special Father’s Day edition.

Gary Barg

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