Caregiving: An exploration of African American male caregiver roles in Texas
Over the last three decades of family caregiving research, only a few studies have provided insight into the roles men play (Fromme et al., 2005), and even fewer addressed African American males. Traditionally, caregiver research focused on females as primary caregivers. The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2004), indicated four out of ten caregivers are men. This qualitative study explored the role of African American male caregivers in Texas. Face to face interviews were conducted using an open-ended questionnaire to gather data from African American male caregivers 50+ years of age who provide care for their mother, father, stepmother, sister, aunt, companion, brother, and fictive kin. Study participants self-identified as caregivers who provided formal or informal caregiver assistance to the elderly with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living such as bathing, toileting, transportation, meal preparation and personal care. Four major themes arose in the study. Major themes were (1) personal choice as a caregiver, (2) non-traditional caregiver roles, (3) skill malfit, and (4) range of duties as a caregiver. This study has implications for family and consumer sciences specialists, gerontologist, educators, and service providers as they plan and coordinate caregiver support for communities at the local, state and national levels.