The study, published in Journals of Gerontology, Series B, is good news for our increasingly stretched adult care services, which have become more reliant on patients' family and spouses for support. Conducted with peers from the University of Pennsylvania, the research sits in contrast to previous studies on spousal caregiving, which found that female caregivers tend to be more responsive. However, the new results reveal that men are just as responsive to a partner's illness, as women.
Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, the research carried out by Dr Langner of Oxford University and Professor Frank Furstenberg of the University of Pennsylvania, focused on 538 couples in Germany with an average age of 69, where one of them had developed the need for spousal care, between 2001-2015, and looked at how caregivers adjusted their hours in response to the new care need: whether directly responding to their physical needs or performing errands and housework.
Findings - Men - Care - Hours - Women
The findings show that men increased their care hours as much as women did, resulting in similar levels of care once their partner became ill. These similarities were particularly pronounced when a spouse was deemed severely ill, when there was little to no difference in the level of care given.
Perhaps surprisingly, when their spouse is severely ill, men also increase the time they spend on housework and errands, more than women. However, at lower levels of spousal care need -- when a spouse is only slightly unwell, women still spend more time doing housework and errands than men -- because they already did more housework and errands prior to the disease onset.
Differences - Levels - Care - Couples - Spouse
There were also significant differences in levels of care given, for couples where the spouse was only unofficially seen to be 'in need of care'. However, these...
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