Caring is a man’s job too

By Jonathan Peterson, Times Staff Writer
November 27, 2006

Dutiful daughters and nurturing wives have long dominated the ranks of society’s caregivers. That, at least, is the stereotype.

Such a view is out of date, healthcare experts say. Both genders, it turns out, are playing a crucial role — and at significant personal cost — in providing hands-on care to ailing relatives. Their efforts have emerged as a foundation of the larger U.S. healthcare system, helping family members survive at home and perhaps prolonging their lives….

…family helpers who also hold full-time jobs outside the home, for example, men now outnumber women 52% to 48%…

Such unpaid helpers are a pillar of the healthcare system. Arno, who has studied the matter, estimated that it would “conservatively” cost the nation $320 billion a year to pay for such efforts, almost double what the public spends on nursing homes and on paid in-home care.

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