Frances Kakugawa
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist

Dear Readers,

I’d like to introduce you to two male caregivers from my monthly support group in Sacramento. Bob first shared his “On Bathing Fran” two months ago. Then a month later, Ross responded to Bob’s poem with his “How to . . .” Their words speak volumes of who they are as caregivers and husbands.

This very intimate aspect of men bathing the women in their family varies depending on their relationships. Bob’s and Ross’ husband-wife relationships show the intimacy of this daily act, which is less intimate when the relationship is between a son and his mother, or a brother and his sister. On Oahu, a male caregiver for his oldest sister felt that baths were an uncomfortable intrusion on his sister’s life, yet, he felt he had no other choice. As the only unmarried sibling, his family had designated him their sister’s caregiver, believing he had the least amount of responsibilities. (We resolved one problem in dressing when I suggested that he stop using bras and instead change her blouses to heavier material. He was relieved.)

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