Where have all the men gone?
This issue was raised by Martin Green on Bank Holiday Monday August 31st 2015.
Why we need more men in care. I believe this issue is very important for older people and is not just about men who want men to care for them – care homes can be ‘over- feminised’ environments and the presence of men has a positive effect on several levels – My 97 year old mother living with dementia in a care home frequently said to me – ‘Give me a nice man to look at any time!’.
Gender balance provides more healthy environments.
Care of older people needs more men – once this happens society may wake up to the importance of providing a living wage with a higher value placed on it for those who undertake complex caring and support roles.
Why have men been driven from caring roles? This is seen in GP, dentistry and other related professions such as veterinary surgery as an example. There is something going wrong when we give out the messages this is too difficult or that it is not a job for men any more. Why are desk jobs more valued than practical skilled roles?
It is interesting that in Finland they have actively attracted more men to work in primary schools for improved results – why shouldn’t we have the same at the end of our lives?
It is interesting that Germany keeps its hospitals and care homes open due to national service – this introduces people to a sector they may never have considered.
I have trained people who have described themselves as victims of burn-out, some of whom have been former bankers/City workers who found the pressure less than humanly possible – they have become successful carers/ Daily living activity coaches and have never looked back. It was very interesting that they found it difficult to believe the range of skills they need to deliver this work and how undervalued it is – role on next topic – Preparing the work force for 21st Century caring of older people – being ‘care-full’ – being equipped to do a good job with the right knowledge, skills and behaviours