Why more male carers are needed in the UK
The chief executive of Care England, one of the UK’s biggest care bodies, has said that more male carers are needed to look after old people.
Professor Martin Green was speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme when he made the claim that the government should do more to attract men into adult social care roles. Prof Green said that as men are living longer into old age, more and more men will be needed to offer personal care to elderly male people.
He said: ‘We have an ageing population and a lot of people who receive care into old age now are men.’
Adding: ‘The majority of carers are women. When it comes to personal care in particular, some men prefer this to be done by a male rather than female.’
However, the Department of Health, when asked, claimed they would welcome carers of either gender to start careers in the sector.
Care England is one of the largest representative bodies for independent care providers in the UK, with members that include care homes, small local groups, voluntary organisations and more. They claim that social perceptions about caring prevent many men for taking up roles within the industry. They aim to help society realise that everyone has the potential to be a carer.
Statistics show that 84% of carers in the UK are currently female, a number which has remained the same since 2012. So there appears to be no great move towards balancing this out. Care England thinks the government could be doing more to present caring as a genuine career option in schools and colleges, emphasising the care role vacancies suitable for male candidates.
Also speaking on the Today programme was Jonathan Ryan, who lives with severe mobility problems. He said that he wished there were more male care options available to him, saying: ‘From a personal point of view – having showers and baths and personal washing and things, I would much rather be washed and bathed by a fellow male. It makes me feel awkward. I would much prefer a male, I must admit.’
We’ll see you again next month with more news about carers, care and safety equipment, careers, and government initiatives.