It’s Men’s Health Month, a time to encourage males to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle by exercising, eating a nutritious diet, and getting regular medical check-ups.

Through the REST program, Companions play a vital role in helping men care for themselves. Through respite care, husbands, sons and brothers caring for a loved one can take a break to keep a doctor’s appointment, exercise, go to a support group or participate in other positive activities.

While Men’s Health Month highlights male well-being, recent efforts by AARP have raised awareness of male caregivers, who comprise 40% of family caregivers of adults in the U.S. This equates to 16 million male family caregivers in the U.S.

In Breaking Stereotypes: Spotlight on Male Family Caregivers, AARP reports, “Men, a group traditionally not recognized for performing caregiving tasks, are rising to the challenge. Male family caregivers…are stepping up to the plate in record numbers.”

But as male caregivers perform a wide range of caregiving duties, including personal care activities, and medical/nursing tasks, they, too, need care. According to Breaking Stereotypes, 62% of male family caregivers said their caregiving experience was moderately to very stressful. In addition, nearly half experienced physical and financial strain as a result of caregiving.

In addition, AARP and the Ad Council have produced a public service announcement campaign, to spotlight male family caregivers.  Click here to view “Tougher than Tough.”  Check out “Behind the Scenes with Danny Trejo” here.

We’d like to thank our REST Companions for ‘stepping up to the plate,’ and positively impacting caregivers – male and female – across the nation. The simple act of stepping away – even for a small period of time – can make a big difference in a caregiver’s life.

To learn more about REST, visit:  www.restprogram.org.