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Gender and Caregiving

Caregiving is gendered -  the majority of caregivers are women

  • social factors generally make women more likely to take on the caregiving role and be more heavily involved in caregiving activities than men [1]

  • over 70% of informal caregivers are women, mostly wives, daughters and daughters in-law [3]

  • 30% of female informal caregivers are also employed and working in the community and may also be providing care to their own family at the same time [3] this places unique stresses on women that are different from what is experienced by male caregivers

  • a recent study found that female caregivers had lower scores on 7 out of the 8 scales on the SF-36 Quality of Life Questionnaire vs. males and an overall decreased quality of life as a result of more emotional and physical health problems  [4]

  • one of the future concerns for society is caregiving issues for the older female population with dementia

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1. Mendez MF, Cummings JL. Dementia: a clinical approach. 3rd ed. Philadelphia (PA): Elsevir Inc; 2003.

3. Canadian Study of Health and Aging Working Group. Patterns of caring for people with dementia in Canada. Can J Aging 1994;13(4):470-87.

4. Argimon JM, Limon E, Vila J, Cabezas C. Health-related quality of life in carers of patients with dementia. Family Practice 2004; 21(4):454-7.

All references for this section