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Male carers being stigmatised? - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

Male carers being stigmatised?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
The last time I checked I'm a male carer. Apart from the normal 'Dole Dosser' attitude from the less understanding I've not had a problem. Was talking to the Manager of our local Co-Op a month or so ago, and even though half the time I don't even get a chance to shave so Iook scruffy Image she seemed quite understanding with the fact that 'no I'm not unemployed I'm my wife's carer, and have been for longer then I'd like to admit'

Medical wise, not much of a problem, I do sometimes have to tell the doctor to speak up and look at my better half since her hearing has gone dodgy (Even some audiologists which surprised me) but apart from that not a problem.

The only place I did feel stigmatised was my old bank, I'd go to them for upgrading my account and the moment I say yeah I get two payments, one from DWP Carers Allowance and a fortnightly Income Support, its like there entire friendlyness has gone. Unlike my new bank, which I went in with the full intention of getting a basic account and was automatically given a real current account, the bank lass even read my CA letter so it wasn't like I kept anything from them. I even told them I had problems with my old bank charging me fines for bounced Direct Debits.
I look at it this way. If people stigmatise you then they`re the ones with the problem, it`s like if people don`t like me ,tough on them.I`ve been caring for my wife now for some 10 yrs and I`m really proud to tell anyone, after all she spent most of our married life taking care of me, bringing up our three children on her own because I spent all hours working. it`s pay back time now and I`ve taken over now doing it all "except the kids of course".We have no one coming in to" help".We get on just fine.I`ve made more friends since I got involved with the carers movement,and I mean good friends.So don`t let those stupid people get you down because I certainly won`t.
... the carers movement...
New concept for me Image I kinda like it Image

Sounds like a pretty fantastic attitude to have too!
To look at me im probably the last person you would expect to be a carer (what does a normal carer look like anyway?)

Ive met with the "dole dosser attitude" aswell and I always get really offended by it, im not a dole dosser im a carer, Im out of work because I HAVE to be in order to make sure my wife gets the care she needs 24/7. Therefore I WORK 24/7, im there at the drop of a hat to do the things my wife cant do, Im there to take her to appointments that she simply wouldnt or couldnt get to, im there to comfort her when she breaks down. I dont know of any other "job" that works 24/7 shifts and I hate anyone who dares to assume that because im not working im some sort of low life that lives a cushy life off the benefit system, the truth is Dole Dossers are actually BETTER off than us carers and thats just WRONG!
I WANT to work even if part time but the system simply will not allow it, THEY say im better off working 16 hours a week, ok I may earn a little extra that way, couple that to what you would then lose in terms of getting the rent and council tax paid we would be even WORSE off than we are now,
As it is by the time the bills have been paid and food put in the cupboards there is about £20 a month left in the kitty. Out of that we need to cloth ourselves not to mention other unexpected expenses that will inevitably come up.

Sorry got on my soap box a bit there.
As for being a male carer it does raise a few eyebrows when I have to tell people but I dont care what they think about that, the most important thing is that I care for my wife.
Struggling now to express exactly what I mean, but people expect carers to be female for some reason, I guess thats part of the old fashioned england where man goes to work, woman stay at home chained to kitchen sink!
I dont tell anyone that I dont need to as people simply do NOT understand.
I'm also a male carer, been a carer for sometime now since 1997 for my mum. She passed away in 2008 then continued being a carer for my dad hes 74 now. I've also had the "dole dosser attitude", it wasn't as bad as it is now. I get the feeling i get alot more looking down at me than in the late 90's.
Zero social life, but someone as to do the job, theres just me and my dad.
I do not feel that I have been stigmatised through my role as a young male carer, If someone wants to stigmatise then they are the ones with the problem.

One thing that has irritiated me is that some people have thought that Sarah is my sister, I think this stems from an ignorant attitude from some people who believe that those who are ill/disabled don't have intimate relationships with the opposite sex.

I'll be honest i've given up worrying about what pejorative things people think and say about me and mine and Sarah's relationship.

If people suggest that caring isn't very macho well you certainly need an extraordinary amount of mental strength to do what we do, you can be built like a brick sh*thouse but if you can't deal with stress then you're nothing.
To look at me im probably the last person you would expect to be a carer (what does a normal carer look like anyway?)
Frustrated and tired Image
[quote]
If people suggest that caring isn't very macho well you certainly need an extraordinary amount of mental strength to do what we do, you can be built like a brick sh*thouse but if you can't deal with stress then you're nothing. ]

Just for you Alex, one of my fav sayings....

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength”