Males as helpers: the role of sons, relatives, and friends

Gerontologist. 1990 Apr;30(2):228-35. doi: 10.1093/geront/30.2.228.


The informal helping networks of most frail elderly people are dominated by women. Men are also involved in helping older people, although most male caregivers are husbands. This paper examines the contributions of men other than husbands who provide assistance to a sample of community-based elderly people. Data were gathered through personal interviews with elders and their primary helpers at two points in time. Male helpers provide intermittent assistance with occasional tasks but less frequently undertake routine household chores. Some evidence indicates a shift toward female caregivers as the elder's functional capacity decreases over time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Data Collection
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Family / psychology*
  • Home Nursing / psychology*
  • Household Work
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Role
  • Social Environment