sexually harrassment and verbally abused

First time to be a carer, I never known what I will be facing. I was arranged to shadow two days, then all on my own. That’s not a problem. I understand the resources was never enough. I also accepted the job nature where lots of people find its disgusting. On my first few call, I need to go to a retirement flat to wash an 86 years old gentlemen. I undress him in the toilet and wash him. As the instruction, I asked if the gentlemen need my help to clean the private area, all of the sudden he was very excited. After the shower, I dried him, while he was still naked, he hug me and kiss me in my cheek. I was frozen but I cannot push him otherwise I would hurt him. I am sure this gentlemen are conscious of what he is doing because the conversation are quite sensible. After that, very lucky he wasn’t in my call anymore.

After being a carer for a couple of months, there was one gentlemen in 90’s that I have been there 2 times already. The first time I was shadowed by an experience carer. He has the catheter and the task is to shower him. After the shower, he requested me to put the sheet into his penis. As I am a carer I followed what he asked me to do and all of the sudden he hug me and kiss me in my cheek while he was naked and he giggling. I was frozen and just quickly finish the job and gone. After that, one of the male carer said to me that gentlemen is able to put the sheet my himself, and the way that my male workmate look at me that I realize that 90’s year old gentlemen taking advantage of me.

Recently, I had a 96 year old big fat gentlemen for more than 6 months. The first time I’ve been there, he was with his ill-health wife, my task is to shower him and change his pad. Every morning, I had to pull him up, but he tried to pull me into his bed. He squeeze my hand unnecessarily, he head and his shoulder have no sign of lifting up and I felt the only force towards him and his bed. He had limited ability to stand up for sure, but once he stand up he can walk smooth and slowly. When I first in there, I assume this people needs all my help so I do everything for him. Washed his face and whole body, but once cleaning his bottom, he made lots of sexual noise similar like when he having sex. When I lay him on the bed, his hand will always on my private part. I wasn’t sure that whether he is conscious of what he is doing. Because sometime he talk something doesn’t make sense e.g he thought he is on a ship…etc or “don’t remember”, “don’t know…” After several months, his behaviour become more and more obvious, with his facial expression as well. I also notice if I change him in front of his wife, he would not be that obvious. The family member had requested us to change him in bedroom to give hime privacy, but that’s when no witnesses at all, he started to try again. One call in the morning, I showered him as usual, dried him and dressed him. Sit him in the bed, while I was doing his button, his both hand stroke my both thigh for at least 30 sec then he grasp my both thighs, then I feel a very strong force pulling me towards him, and the force was so strong that I almost fell into him, as I was rushing to get things done, I asked him “What are you doing??” He stopped, but after I quickly finished dressing him which is quite a challenge, as he is 3 times bigger than me and 5 times heavier than me, he starring on the floor, smiled in a way I feel very sick, he asked " will you come to wash my penis tomorrow?" I said " you are not on my schedule tomorrow, that will be another carer". Since then everytime I have to be there, I am extremely cautious, as he is so strong to pull me towards him, I now understand he is so capable to pull himself up, but he pretended and try to pull me into his bed, he is well aware things, but he pretended he is not and keep saying that he can’t remember. His family believes that he is not aware of thing and not capable, but I saw the truth while he sexually assaulted me. I mention to manager but the manger thought that this gentlemen is only try to find balance that’s why he touching me, and I was told I am not allowed to tell the family nor mention to anyone. However I discuss with 1 other carer and she experience some but not as severe as me, she also told me that gentlemen keep asking where am I as he want me to rub his front. As I was sexually assaulted in my childhood for several years by one of my family member, the way this 96’s gentlemen did exactly the same and is bring out all the hidden memory where I thought I can forget it forever but is not. Those memory flash in the middle of the night mixing up with the unwanted childhood memory and the new unpleasant memory. After I have report him, every time I was sent to there, I was so sensitive where his hand goes if I have to carry him, pull him up change him wash him. He sometimes would direct to my boos and I jumped, sometimes he open his both hand want hug. After lots of battles, recently the admin did respect me and asked me if I want to do him, I make it clear and said no, his ill heath wife needs care, so I will only do his wife, however, everytime I was there, the way that he look at me I still feel very sick.

Another call I had, it was a women. It was normal in the first few visit. One day, she keeps saying to me that she poo his pad, so I clean her bottom and change pad. She then keep ask me to clean her bottom, I told her that is cleaned already, I check again and is cleaned. As she was screaming, to satisfy her I use the baby wipe do it again. She then keep saying " more, more, harder, harder!!" I started to feel a bit weird, there is nothing more to clean, then she giggling, and I realize that she want me to masturbate her. Very luckily, I haven’t had her anymore.

There was one call I had, to provide care for a old lady, the old lady didn’t give me the trouble, but the family member is a racist. Everytime I been there, her son will shouted at me. Say I am late however I am not, say I am early however only early for 2 minutes. He then shouted at me, asking me question but he then raise his voice while I am answering then he called me chinky( I am east asian), he chucked me out of the house and said he phone the manager up to sack me. This was the first ever time that I was facing someone brutally treat me like that and I have 100% respect of nurses who need to face the criminal drunk and drug people. The manager did not rang me up perhaps every one know that he is a racist. But I make a statement told the manager what happen on the night, the manager did not arrange me to be there anymore and whether they told him they sack me or other reason.

I am here to share all the dilemma that being a carer what you will be facing. Although I did make some good friend with some elderly, where they treat me as a friend rather than a carer, I am very appreciated and I will do everything for them. Some unexpected sexually assaulted and verbally abused will be in the job nature as well. You will be discriminated sometimes, working 16 hours a day with no break, there also will not have enough time to cook, eat, shower and sleep as the last visit and the next morning visit will be less than 8 hours. I want to let people know being a carer is never that easy and think before to join.


I am sorry you have had such a negative experience of caring, however, this forum is for those who care for family members or friends.

I suggest you report any further incidents to your manager straight away.


Unfortunately I have already report a couple of times, however things don’t get much changes

Unfortunately, this part of the job people rarely see.
Whatever the patient’s personal problems are, you are entitled to do your work without having to feel intimidated.
This is not acceptable.
You’ve entered a profession that is often overlooked and invisible to the public eye.
The time professional carers spend with each patient is often very limited because their daily caseload consists of so many people to look after.
As you are new to the profession, it’s perhaps helpful to take a step back and gain a deeper understanding of your patients, their families and your organisation’s management.
Let’s start with your patients, be honest and straight to the point. People now at the stage in their journey where they need someone to attend to their personal care needs.
Taking a shower and using the toilet are just a couple of activities that many of us do ourselves, take for granted and with privacy.
Your patients must wait for someone to help them perform these basic, yet essential hygiene tasks and there can be a sense of feeling helpless and losing that dignity.
Who is going to do the job? Who wants the job? Will the family like to do it?
The people in your profession do an amazing job with limited time and resources.
The pay’s not brilliant either.
There can be a number of reasons for the behaviour of certain elderly patients in your care.
Old age, leading to memory and behavioural issues can be a cause for what is happening.
Are some of your patients taking advantage of you? That may be happening as well.
It makes matters worse when your patients claim no memory of the events. Naturally, their families will take sides with the patient and believe that their loved one has done nothing wrong.
Why? The patient’s families need the care services because they can’t cope with looking after their loved one. They want to get on with their own lives.
Carers only have limited time slots so family members still have to be involved in their care to some degree.
Either that or their loved one will need to go into full-time residential care. For the families, that’s another issue altogether. The costs for a start. Then it’s trying to convince their loved one to go into full-time residential care.
Many people needing care will not consider full-time residential care because they feel that staying at home is best for them.
The families need people like you.
There will be times when family members vent their anger at the carer, who is only trying to do their job.
It is unfair and not acceptable.
The management of your organisation are not much help because they don’t really know how to deal with this sort of thing.
You’ve entered into a new profession and much learning awaits.
Look at the both the good and bad aspects of the job. Do the good points outweigh the bad?
There are people who genuinely appreciate the work you do.
Don’t feel obliged to tolerate inappropriate behaviour. Tell your manager that you are not comfortable with patients who behave this way.
If the families are hostile towards you, then refuse to deal with them.
However much you want to help your patients and however sad you may feel about not being able to help, there’s no excuse for the families to vent any anger towards you.
Racial abuse of any kind is not acceptable either.
You are there to help.
The family need to understand that you are working to give their loved one the best, possible care you can with your limited resources.
Racial abuse from family members, anger or aggression towards you is totally unacceptable. Politely leave the house and tell your manager that you won’t tolerate that behaviour.
If you risk losing your job, then perhaps that may be for the best.
It’s a frustrating and heartbreaking situation for all concerned.
There are your own experiences of sexual assault to deal with. You could still be dealing with buried trauma.
Counselling may help you to address your past experiences, which will benefit your personal well-being.
Make time to look after yourself.
If you really feel that professional caring is the career for you, then first make time to work through your own personal issues - and continue to do what you are doing.
This is a job that you have chosen and if you are not happy with how some patients or their families treat you, then don’t do it.
It’s a difficult situation for you at present and it’s now a matter of deciding whether or not this is the career for you.