This study will address a gap in research by investigating how male carers of people with dementia differ in their approach to the caring role in comparison to female carers of people with dementia. Men and women living in Australia, aged above 18 and who are the primary (non-paid) carers of a person with dementia are invited to participate.
The demands of the caring role have been associated with adverse health outcomes, high financial burden and lifestyle disruptions for the carer, and male carers have been described as ineffective in their approach to the caring role. Research suggests that male carers struggle to adapt to the caring role and despite this, only a handful of studies have specifically explored how male carers of people with dementia manage with the demands of the caring role in comparison to female carers of people with dementia.
This research will invite participants to take part in a survey, available online and also using a paper-based questionnaire, to examine how male carers differ to female carers, in their approach to the caring role. The study will determine if there is a difference in:
- How male carers identify themselves as carers, in comparison to females.
- The way male carers approach the caring role, in comparison to female carers.
- The way male carers self-report caregiver burden in comparison to females.
- How useful male carers perceive support services to be, in comparison to female carers.
- What triggers males to ask for help from support services in comparison to female carers.
The overall results will be translated into a set of recommendations to educate health care practitioners, on how to better engage and support male carers of people with dementia. It is anticipated that with the advent and implementation of male-friendly services, male carers will be better equipped to support their loved ones for longer in the community, thus minimising the distress caused and the cost associated with early institutionalisation of the person with dementia.