Absolute Discrimination: Male Carers

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi everyone,

I am a male working in a nursing and residential care home.

I have done this job now for 4 years, and I thought it was a job I would never do, but, having 6 children and needing the money, I thought, I have no choice.

The result is, I absolutely LOVE my job, but I have a huge issue and concern.

This country (The UK) is absolutely set in it's ways about inclusion, diversity, equality and discrimination, and there are laws about it, but for some reason, one thing seems to go on that absolutely discriminates males and seems to never matter to the staff or management of every care home I have worked in (about 25 different homes i.e. I use to work for an agency)

2 male carers CANNOT deal with a female resident, and none of them has said that it's down to their wishes, obviously, I always ask any lady, if she minds me offering her personal care, if either she says she does mind or the body language says Yes (but im actually too scared to say no or im far too nice to say no), I will attempt to get her a female carer, this isn't my issue.

At times, there is me and another male, and on numerous occasions, there has only been us left on the floor as the other carers are dealing with other residents (and this place has 4 floors) and I'm absolutely sick to my stomach of being told that 2 male carers cannot work together dealing with a female, EVEN IF SHE AGREES, but here is the twist... it's actually OK for 2 females to go and deal with a male.... where is the equality here?, is this actually insisting that men are more likely to abuse a lady?, because believe me, some of the women I've met aren't even fit to offer care to themselves, nevermind our residents.

I think it's absolutely disgusting that the world thinks this way, two women are equally as capable to groom and abuse a male just as much as 2 males are equally capable of grooming and abusing a female.

Where does law kick in here to put a stop to this behaviour?

Like I said, if a resident shows signs of or says she doesn't want a male carer, fine, i'll find a female, if she isn't physically able to agree and nothing is in her care plan regarding who can offer personal care, I actually refuse until the next of kin has been asked this question.

I wonder if we said, two men can deal with a lady, but two ladies cannot deal with a male, if the reaction would be the same?

[/No offense intended to any female carersi]
Hi Martin
I'm a former carer to my Dad and have no issue with male carers at all- although some have been a no no, equally so some females and nothing to do with gender, just attitude. I continue to work part time as a care giver myself out of a staff of 70 there are about 3 males so you are much in demand!
I totally agree with you about perceptions people have and all this stuff unfolding since Jimmy Saville and Rochester to name but a few haven't helped. I don't know what to advise, just keep on caring , and using your judgement as you are, not only to keep clients dignity but to protect yourself from potential allegations. Maybe think of a change in direction (just to avoid the frustration as you won't be able to change things however much you want), how about becoming a HCA on a male ward or something similar- principally to avoid the daily frustrations you are currently facing.
Hello Martin

The Carers UK is a charity set up to advise and support those caring for friends/family in an unpaid, non-professional capacity and I'm not sure that this is really the place for you, as a professional Care Assistant, to raise your concerns. (Although we do have a few members who are both caring for relatives or friends and who are also employed in the Care industry)

I would suggest that you should bring your (very valid) concerns on this delicate subject to your union - I believe that would be Unison - who could take up the cudgels on your behalf.

Kind regards
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It is assymetric indeed, but I guess it's just the 'rebalencing' so to speak from an era where the balance was tipped firmly against women.

I agree though about it safeguarding YOU from accusations. As we read in the press, men are now very vulnerable to accusations of inappropriate behaviour etc, and it is, alas, a 'dangerous time' to be male for that very reason.

Hopefully, things will become safer over time, and 'nice' men will NOT be made to pay for the sins and crime of the 'not-nice' men in the world.

Till then, I think safeguarding YOURSELF is the key priority, and if that means having a female colleague with you under certain condition, then stick with that. Not fair, yes, but a lot of life isn't (sigh).
Good day, Martin. I'm afraid the UK is bit of a nanny state, and one that does not move well with the times, hence there are loads of incomplete, higgledy-piggledy laws like this on all sorts of matters.

The suggestion to approach your union, if you are a member of one, is a good one. You could also try a letter to your Member of Parliament. They should at least be able to find a reason for this silly rule. Don't bank that they can change anything but - nothing ventured, nothing gained.