Male carers

Hi I currently work in a care home looking after people with dementi.
We have 1 other male carere, we have a female with dementia who can become very agitated & violent.
The other female carers have refused to give her personal care & the manager has suggested myself & the other male do it???
This is my problem, can 2 males give a female personal care, we are open to all sorts of accusations etc & I am very uncomfortable with this.
We normally work with another female & the other residents are happy with it.

Any help & input would be very helpful.


Hi Martin.

One for your trade union to answer … UNISON ?

As family / kinship carers , our views would reflect our own caree’s preferences.

As a former , lone , 24/7 , carer for my mother , preferences … when only me around ?

My suggestion is to speak to CQC for advice.

I would say NO, especially someone who can’t spell dementia.

I wouldn’t want you within a mile of my Mum…

That’s unfair as it was spelt correctly further on in the letter.
Just a typo error. You ought to read letters right through carefully.

Anyway, in any case, I do not see what a mis spell has to do with
whether one is a good carer or not.

I agree with Albert. This is a non judgemental forum. Typing errors happen, and when people are anxious and worried, they are quite likely to happen.
I think maybe request a meeting with the manager, and state that its not a practical suggestion, as you and the other male carer can not be on duty 24/7. This lady will still need personal care.

The patient has an absolute right to same sex carers.


The patient has an absolute right to same sex carers.

In the outside world , agreed.

Shame that most of us have no alternative ?

Those forgotten words in CarerLand … DIGNITY and PRIDE ?

This is potentially a career threatening issue!

If this patient cannot give informed consent, then there should be a formal Best Interests Meeting arranged by Social Services.
Failure to do this could lead to an accusation of assault by a concerned relative.

This situation isn’t fair on Martin, it’s up to his employer to sort this one out to protect a vulnerable resident.

If this person is so aggressive due to dementia, then it may well be in her best interests to have two stronger braver male carers, but again, it’s up to the owner of the home to sort it out, protecting both staff and resident.

Until then, Martin, I suggest you just don’t do it!

Interesting conundrum there , BB.

Lone carer / caree … best interests meeting … lone carer to stop doing what he / she does in preference for an opposite sex paid care worker.

Assuming both carer and caree surviving on a full range of benefits with little spare … even escalating debts … who pays ?

Needs assessments … financial angle … some deemed to be over the limit still struggle to make ends meet … especially when the caring commences virtually
overnight , and both the carer and the caree are struggling to downsize across the board to match their much reduced income to fixed expenditure.

I have known some going from £ 50 / 60,000 p.a. to a tenth of that within weeks.

Almost like losing one’s well paid job … it takes time to adjust finances to meet the new situation … including downsizing if a property owner or finding a cheaper one to rent.


Have a read…


Not providing same sex carers can impact dignity, says Ombudsman

An investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has highlighted the need for care providers to make every effort to supply vulnerable clients with same-sex carers, after a family was left without respite for more than two years.

The ombudsman is underlining the advice after a couple complained that Warwickshire County Council did not ensure their daughter’s intimate care needs would be met by female staff at a respite centre, despite it being in her support plan.

The couple’s daughter is in her thirties and has significant needs. She cannot communicate verbally, and is dependent on others for all her personal care. Until 2011 the family used the residential centre for regular breaks. But after February that year – when the centre changed owners – the family became concerned about staffing levels and declined to send their daughter to the home. This meant that the couple were without respite care for two-and-a-half years.

The council did offer a second care home option to the family during the period, but the family turned it down because they said it was unsuitable for their daughter’s needs.

Although it is not a legal requirement to provide same sex carers, where a request is made for valid reasons, the LGO maintains that a provider should make every effort to provide same sex care, and the Equality Act 2010 allows for the recruitment of staff of a specific sex as an occupational requirement.

In addition, during that period the family discovered that the new owners of the home had neglected to register it with industry regulators, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and the council failed to check the home’s registration.

The couple’s other complaints included the council delaying dealing with both their complaint and its investigation.

Dr Jane Martin, Local Government Ombudsman, said:

“Under the Equality Act 2010 the need to deliver same-sex care is an ‘objective justification’ for advertising and recruiting workers to fulfil the need. It is not enough for a provider to say ‘We cannot guarantee same sex care’. They need to demonstrate that they have made every effort to ensure the service is delivered in the way that is best for the recipient.

“In this case, the family did not feel confident that the council could protect their daughter and the care home could provide the same-sex care that they requested. They have missed vital opportunities to go away on holiday or simply have a break from their caring responsibilities.”

The LGO has recommended that Warwickshire County Council review its advice to care providers regarding employing staff of a specific sex where it is considered a necessary requirement of the job.

The council has already agreed to arrange respite care at the home in line with the daughter’s care plan and support plan, and the home has agreed to offer the guarantee of female carers for intimate care.

The LGO has also recommended the council apologise to the couple and pay them £5,500 for the lack of appropriate respite care services over the past two and a half years and pay them an additional £1,000 for the time and trouble in pursuing the complaint.

Article date: 14 November 2014

This section speaks volumes ?


“Under the Equality Act 2010 the need to deliver same-sex care is an ‘objective justification’ for advertising and recruiting workers to fulfil the need. It is not enough for a provider to say ‘We cannot guarantee same sex care’. They need to demonstrate that they have made every effort to ensure the service is delivered in the way that is best for the recipient.

Merely a … " guideline " … ?

( " Sorry squire , just me today. Either I get on with it or you go without. " )

Nothing in social care is black or white … just an infinite number of shades of grey ?

All I can add is there should be an equal ratio of both male and female staff, a choice then can be enabled . There isnt, at least in my late husband’s nursing home. Rarely male carers. Didn’t stay long. My hubby, for a long time, preferred male staff, but if he had his wish, he would have been left without personal care for a very long time. Then I would have been up in arms!. Staff became used to him, mostly understood what could trigger his outbursts, although he was very unpredictable. Sadly there isn’t always a choice.
Staff choose to do care work, so, in my very humble opinion should not refuse, but decide who gets the best response from the person with dementia, and try to work fairly as a team. Better pay might help!

These examples surely demonstrate the need for a Best Interests Meeting where someone cannot give informed consent.

Personally, I don’t see a husband providing intimate care to his wife, or vice versa, a problem.

Any other relationship between carer and caree is questionable. That’s just my own personal opinion.

When I cared for my wifey I found parts she had I’d never handled before. :laughing: