Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman
3 min readJun 3, 2024

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Topic: Male Caregivers and Health Awareness

Every month, our country hosts various health awareness campaigns, each focusing on a different part of health. While these campaigns are crucial, it’s equally important to consider that the health of male caregivers is a vital part of the caregiving journey.

Male caregivers are in the trenches daily and suffer from the same concerns as women caregivers. Different from female caregivers, men are not seeking professional help to handle caregiving responsibilities. They balance the care and concerns of loved ones while maintaining a measure of normality alone. Their health can also become a concern due to the duties often required of a caregiver. Many male caregivers are elderly and are dealing with chronic disease, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. According to the latest statistics, male caregivers have gone up over the years, and are mostly caring for their spouse.

Maintaining personal health while caring for loved ones has been more challenging for male caregivers. Research shows that men have independent natures, and multitasking can be difficult. What advice can I share to encourage male caregivers to manage their health as they care for their loved ones? Let me start by saying it is impossible to give safe and effective care to someone else if your health is compromised. Male caregivers ought to consider themselves first and erect a self-care plan.

Self-care plan considerations:

*Stressor Identification- the situations that cause anxiety and address them. It could be a lack of understanding of the loved one’s medical condition and a lack of time management skills. Both are huge stressors.

*Techniques to reduce stressors- playing music is a good stress reliever. It can provide mental distraction, reduce muscle tension, and lower vital signs.

*Identify Fatigue Point- Time to rest, take a break, take a walk, sit in silence.

*Eat Healthy- eating a healthy diet is an important part of self-care. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are great choices.

*Setting Boundaries- Knowing your limits and setting expectations can help you nurture your own wellness!

*Stay Connected with others- to avoid feelings of isolation- When you’re stressed, you may want to detach yourself. As an alternative, reach out to family and friends to share feelings.

*Sleep- The body needs to refresh; sleep is necessary for mental, physical, and cognitive health.

As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, I believe it is essential for a male caregiver to lean not to one’s understanding regarding self-care. Your health is paramount for you to take care of someone else. The decision to care for a loved one can be highly challenging and life-altering. Depending on the circumstance of any situation, the care of a loved one can only be managed when you, as the caregiver, are operating at best. Remember, as I often say …self-care is NOT selfish! Be safe! Be well.

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman is a retired registered nurse and case manager, CEO of Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate and author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor, and The Black Book of Important Information for Caregivers.

Website: www.cynthiajhickman.com

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Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman

Dr. Hickman is the author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor and The Black Book of Important for Caregivers.