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Appreciating the value of women as caregivers

Appreciating the value of women as caregivers

How many women do you know who care for children and their parents, in addition to themselves?

Dr. Maureen Templeman, assistant professor in the department of psychology with a specialty in gerontology, provides insight about the number of women in caregiving roles and their underappreciated value.

When your parents are older and need your help, you might provide informal care like:

  • Reminding them to take their medication. 
  • Cleaning their house. 
  • Helping them get dressed in the morning. 
  • Feeding them. 
  • Taking them to doctor’s appointments. 

Often, these adult children also work and care for their own children.

“It’s like there are three different roles they’re trying to juggle all at once,” Templeman said. 

The role of women? 

Nationally, 60 percent of caregivers are women. Closer to 70 percent of caregivers for people with dementia, are also women.

“Generally, when a woman is a caregiver, she’s fulfilling that role on her own,” Templeman said. “She doesn’t have a partner in her corner for support.”

This results in caregiving being a much more time-consuming role for women, extending throughout their entire lives.

“I think the reason for this is gender norms and just the expectation…

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