Recent studies estimate that between 14 and 18 percent of men ranging in ages from nineteen to later middle age are providing care to a family member or friend with a serious illness or disability. And in men 75 or older, there are more husbands caring for wives than vice versa. Also among persons caring for AIDS sufferers in central cities, over 50 percent are men. In light of these substantial numbers, plus demographic trends that will probably increase the proportion of male caregivers in the future, it is important to study men in care-giving roles to further our understanding of this critical area of healthcare. This valuable collection of current research addresses a neglected but increasingly important area of care-giving.
Betty J. Kramer, Ph.D., is associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Edward H. Thompson Jr., Ph.D., is professor of sociology, director of the Gerontology Studies Program at Holy Cross College, and editor of Older Men's Lives.