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Male carers

Man playing with two boys: deorative image

The 2001 census showed that about 42% of carers are male and 58% of carers are female.

The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 aims to ensure that the rights of carers are protected and that female and male carers are both recognised for their roles.

Strains on relationships

Caring can mean a big lifestyle change for anyone who takes on the role, and it can sometimes mean a role reversal within a household.

Becoming a carer can mean that you have less time for work, or have to give it up. Pensions and income will be affected, but there are certain benefits available that can help, such as Carer's Allowance and Income Support. Having reduced finances can add a strain to your relationship.

You may find that the caring role also affects your relationship. If either of you is uncomfortable with how much time you spend caring, you may want to use professional care workers instead. To arrange this you should mention it during your carer’s assessment.

Seeking help

Many people view caring as a female role. This may mean that fewer male carers feel it is appropriate to seek support. But without support, you can end up feeling isolated and lonely. This may affect your ability to carry out your caring role.

Meeting other men in similar situations can help. It may make it easier if you talk to other men about the emotional and practical challenges of your caring role. Contact your local carers centre to see if they have a male carers group.

If you care for your spouse, you may find that there are issues in your relationship that you only feel comfortable discussing with other men. Roles you had before you became a carer may have changed, so if you have specific needs have a carer’s assessment to make sure these needs are met.

Watch the video below to see how to men deal with looking after family members.

Male carers

Being a carer is traditionally seen as a woman's role. In this video, two men talk about their experiences as full-time carers and the difficulties they face.

Media last reviewed: 14/12/2012

Next review due: 14/12/2014

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Page last reviewed: 03/02/2012

Next review due: 03/02/2014

Call Carers Direct on 0300 123 1053

Confidential information and advice for carers.

Lines are open 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays), 11am to 4pm at weekends. Request a free call back or an interpreted call back in one of more than 170 languages including ربي, বাংলা, 中文, Français, ગુજરાતી, Polski, Português, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Soomaali, Español, Türkçe and .اردو.

You can talk to an adviser live online or send a query by email.

Find out more about the Carers Direct helpline.

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