Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand the meaning of caregiving experiences derived from male and female caregivers whose spouses were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Methods: The data were collected from October to December 2021 through one-on-one in-depth interviews with six male and six female spouse caregivers and analyzed based on the Colaizzi's phenomenological method. Results: In accordance with the results, three categories and six themes were respectively deduced for each group by gender. The results illustrate that the group of males tended to adapt themselves to a new role of caregiving by utilizing external resources and maintaining a positive attitude to continue their duties. The deeper the family members’ trust in them, the greater their motivation to sustain caregiving duties. Female caregivers tended to perceive caregiving as an additional duty to what they had been doing; therefore, they became mentally and physically exhausted. Nevertheless, they reduced stress through socializing with others and performing outdoor activities. Continuously interacting with their spouses also helped them continue caregiving. Conclusion: This study suggests a need for understanding a gender difference in caregiving roles and perceptions and the importance of developing a gender-specific program to support family caregivers. Future studies are warranted to develop an educational program for different roles and responsibilities that might be influenced by the caregiver’s gender and should verify the effect of the program.
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