Who are the carers?

The popular presumption is that ‘carer’ means a woman. In fact there are nearly as many men who are carers: specifically 42% according to Men’s Health Forum. Their survey revealed the following,

  • 40% of male carers in employment are working AND caring for more than 40 hours a week;
  • More than one in four employed male carers would not acknowledge themselves as a carer to others, meaning they may not get the support they need at work;
  • Over half of the male carers (53%) surveyed felt that the needs of male carers were different to those of female carers, many citing that men find it harder to ask for help and support and that balancing work and caring is challenging, particularly if they are the main earner;
  • One quarter (26.3%) of men surveyed cared for more than 60 hours per week and worked;
  • Four in ten male carers said that they never had a break from their caring role;
  • 56% of male carers aged 18-64 said being a carer had a negative impact on their mental health;
  • Male carers not working due to their caring role, or who are unemployed, felt especially isolated.

Even more surprisingly, perhaps, there are more men over 65 who are carers than women in the same age range. A Guardian report states that,

Currently ONS figures estimate that 15% of men over 65 are acting as carers, compared to 13% of women in the same age group. There are also more men between the ages of 50-65 than women aged 25-49 performing caring roles.”

So society’s presumption regarding “who are the carers” is seriously awry.

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