Caregiving is Tougher Than Tough

“Caregivers are everyday heroes, and they shouldn’t have to undertake this journey alone.”

Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council.

Through research with male caregivers, marketing professionals have unearthed the insight that being a caregiver requires a unique kind of strength—like stoicism and inner fortitude—that goes beyond the traditional expectations of male toughness.  AARP launched an ad campaign to celebrate this strength and re-examine what it means to be tough by featuring Danny Trejo, who is known for his “tough” persona.

The PSA’s include the tagline “Caregiving is tougher than tough,” underscoring the message that caregiving is a demanding job, and caregivers deserve help and support.  As Trejo shaves his face with a machete, lifts a car, and unflinchingly faces a kitchen fire, a caregiver shaves his father’s face, lifts his father from his chair, and lovingly prepares a meal – earning Trejo’s admiration as “the toughest guy on the planet.”

“I’ve helped care for a friend of mine who had cancer, so I know how hard it can be,” said Trejo. “Being a caregiver takes total dedication, absolute love, and unbelievable toughness. I’m proud to do what I can to support them.”

As men continue to take on caregiving roles, they are looking for specific information and support tailored to their needs. According to AARP’s report “Breaking Stereotypes: Spotlight on Male Family Caregivers,” more than half (63%) of male caregivers are the primary caregiver for their loved one. Due to cultural pressures and a lack of prior experience, more than half (54%) of all male caregivers report finding it difficult to help loved ones with intimate care needs such as feeding, dressing and bathing.

For more information about caregiving resources, visit or call 1-877-333-5885.


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