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More MS news articles for November 2003

Daring men to be caring men: the dilemma of disability for male caregivers

Axone. 2001 Mar;22(3):18-21
Anderson ML.
Individual and Family Services, MS Society of Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The presence of a chronic illness such as multiple sclerosis (MS) represents not only overwhelming demands on male caregivers, but ambivalence for men with respect to their masculinity.

Men as sole caregivers for spouses with MS feel caught between a rock and a hard place, given their gender socialization and the pressing demands of caring for a dependent and vulnerable spouse.

Regular chapter visits within the MS Society in Ontario confirmed the assumption that male caregivers have to contend with a predominant bias among professional female caregivers that men are really not capable of caring for someone with a chronic illness and subsequently cannot be trusted with such responsibility.

This bias actually works to undermine men's perceived capability and predisposition to caring for a vulnerable family member with a chronic illness or disability.