When I conjure an image of a caregiver, I picture a woman. Even if the women worked outside the home, the lines were clearly delineated and men in my family didn’t do “women’s work.” Thankfully, that stereotype is changing — evidently faster than many of us realized. First, I don’t personally know many male caregivers. Also, in my family, the women did all the traditional “female roles” of running the home, raising the children and taking care of those who were sick or elderly.Dating and caregiving may seem as likely a pair as oil and water.With so little time on your hands, it is easy to question whether or not dating is a possibility for caregivers.On the negative side, some respondents say that caregiving pressures had alienated them from their partner, while others said it caused, or at least contributed to, their separation or divorce.But we were reassured to learn that, despite caregiving's pressures and demands, many of you have figured out how to find a balance.
From my own experience, you can’t phone in caregiving duties. You may not want to be a member, but you no longer have a choice. It turns out that of the 300-plus respondents to the survey, caregivers have strong feelings -- both positive and negative -- about the challenges of balancing the demands of their caregiving role alongside the intimate relationship they have with a spouse or partner.They also weighed in on the toll that caring for an older adult can take on everything from family finances to sexual relations to leisure time.It’s no longer unusual for a dad to stay home to care for the kids while his female partner is the main breadwinner.Also, smaller families means there are fewer adult children to care for elderly parents and siblings are often scattered geographically.