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Carers UK Forum • "Please take your shoes off"
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"Please take your shoes off"

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:53 pm
by Ringo*

I am a carer for my partner who has several chronic health conditions. Since March this year he has had 9 hospital admissions. On discharge from hospital, as part of his discharge care package he has 2 helpers come in each day to help him wash, dress, etc.

We take pride in our humble home and have cream carpets in the lounge and bedrooms. We have been asking the helpers to take of their shoes when they enter the property and all of them but one person has been happy to do so. This person said, she would not take off her shoes because of Health & Safety and I said, "you have no respect for our home". She then rang her office and went on about not taking her shoes off to the person on the phone who would pass the message onto the manager. I said to her, "I want my partner to have a good relationship with his helpers so would you be willing to bring indoor shoes with you in future?" She said, "slippers?" and I said slippers would be fine. Today she turned up but did not bring slippers, so I made her wait in the hallway while I wheeled him into the bathroom where she could help him wash. Surely, I'm not asking too much for her to bring "slippers" with her? She also doesn't listen and talks over you all the time, which is really irritating. We have got off to a bad start with this lady and I think if things don't improve then she will have to be "fired" The Apprentice style !

Re: "Please take your shoes off"

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:34 pm
by susieq
Hello Samantha

I think this care worker is making a big fuss about nothing !! I find that most people who come to my home these days automatically take their shoes off when they come in; tradesmen (gas fitter, plumber etc) always have those plastic overshoe thingys anyway. Surely it's just polite manners to remove dirty shoes when coming into someone's home - especially if there are people who are ill or disabled as they may have compromised immune systems.

Re: "Please take your shoes off"

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:49 pm
by bowlingbun
Have a look on ebay for "overshoes". Then staff can keep their own shoes on and your carpets remain clean.

Re: "Please take your shoes off"

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:41 pm
by charles47
Care staff and social workers will often refuse on health and safety grounds. Floors can be dirty, someone might suddenly grab a knife and charge...it has happened.

Overshoes are a practical way forward, and something that, due to your husband's health, is perfectly reasonable.

Re: "Please take your shoes off"

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:35 pm
by Ringo*

Over shoes are a brilliant idea. I will order some from eBay, thank you everyone for your posts.

Re: "Please take your shoes off"

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:10 pm
by DevonLady
Goodness me, what a fuss she is making about nothing. I have cream carpets too. I find visitors or trades people normally automatically leave their shoes in the porch as they come in.

Re: "Please take your shoes off"

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:21 pm
by Caringforfamily

So before my current role I was a private care worker, I completely agree with you and understand why you would want to take her shoes off and I personally would have if I was asked however as someone previously mentioned unfortunately the company policy is to keep them on for health and safety ( I always wanted to have a good relationship with the families so would occasionally go against the rules and do things such as take my shoes off)

I understand your frustration with this but I do hope maybe having that information means you could give them another chance as like you say firing and changing carers can also be a hard task

Re: "Please take your shoes off"

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:00 pm
by Maz1963
This is something that used to annoy me too! Most tradesmen either take their shoes off by the front door, or ask if I'd like them to remove their shoes. If it's dry then sometimes I don't mind, but would the carer like someone stomping through her home in grimy shoes? I don't think so! Mum usually has the same carer (via a very good agency) and I asked her to bring some 'indoor shoes' or slippers to wear in the house. She brings them every time. No problems. A new lady came and stomped through my home in shoes, but I asked her to bring soft soled shoes or slippers too. Last time she forgot so I gave her a pair of mine to wear. I think it's perfectly reasonable to want to protect one's carpets, nice wooden floors and nice rugs! It's bad enough having these people in my home (they are lovely and do a great job - but I will never like having them in my home!), never mind them dirtying my floors. If slippers don't work for 'health and safety' reasons, then they should bring some clean, soft soled shoes to wear, if the client requests it.

Re: "Please take your shoes off"

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 3:40 pm
by Paul_21031
Sorry for the late reply but I have only just come across this thread.

My wife had a new health visitor this morning and she refused my request to remove her plimsolls when going upstairs to the bedroom, claiming health and safety. According to her, "they're very clean".

I was further irritated by her suggestion that I should keep some overshoes in the house!

I went online and researched Health and Safety requirements for home visitors and there is no mention of a requirement to wear footwear in a person's home.

I am still fuming!

Re: "Please take your shoes off"

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:35 am
by Paul_21031
Here is the definitive answer from the Health and Safety Executive from 2013:

"Myth Busters Challenge Panel

Case 131 - Carers' footwear challenged during home visits


Carers carrying out a home visit refuse to wear slippers or take off their outdoor shoes due to health and safety. The householder bought slippers for each of the carers to use but they refuse to wear them and their outdoor footwear is leaving dirty marks on the carpets.

Panel decision

Employers will have provided the carers with/require them to wear sensible footwear which take account of the type of work they are likely to do on their "rounds" eg lifting or carrying. Simply trotting out "health and safety" as the reason for rejecting the slippers is not helpful. This problem could be easily solved to everyone's satisfaction by the carers having a supply of plastic shoe covers to wear indoors to protect the resident's carpets."

https://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/myth-bustin ... otwear.htm