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Am i overreacting here or not?

(35 Posts)
pissedoffcarer Sat 22-Nov-14 13:02:09

Ok, i work as a carer, i visit peoples homes and help them out etc

Today, visiting an old man i see on a regular basis, every time i go in he wants hugs, today he gave me a hug and when i moved away he said "ive just accidentally touched your breast, it was really nice"

I felt so fucking uncomfortable, i said "you cant say things like that" he said "why not, it was nice"

Called one of my seniors and told her what happened, apparently "he's just a lonely old man, just tell him his behaviour is inappropriate" oh and he has form for this behavior with other female carers.

I'm actually fuming and don't want to go back there bit havve to tomorrow.

Am i overreacting??

DorothyGherkins Sat 22-Nov-14 13:05:44

No I dont think you are. Never seen Having Breasts Touched in any contract of work.

flipchart Sat 22-Nov-14 13:06:20

I'm not one for confrontation and often back down rather than create a fuss but in this case I would be fuming and taking it further. Just because someone is old doesn't mean that they are nice.
Seeing that your senior hasn't taken it seriously I would be putting in a grievance form and wanting further action.
At the very least seniors should be going round telling him his behaviour is not acceptable at all.

Four125 Sat 22-Nov-14 13:07:57

No, it isn't acceptable.
I often back down too but this is unacceptable.

pissedoffcarer Sat 22-Nov-14 13:12:47

I'm so angry

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sat 22-Nov-14 13:13:21

I wouldn't be happy, in fact I would take it further and refuse to go back or insist on going with a colleague.

Bunbaker Sat 22-Nov-14 13:15:06

The FIL of a friend of mine has a form of dementia that makes him behave in an inappropriate manner. Is it possible that this old man has the same?

I'm not excusing his behaviour because I don't think it should be brushed under the carpet, but it might help explain why he did it.

AlpacaMyBags Sat 22-Nov-14 13:17:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pissedoffcarer Sat 22-Nov-14 13:35:19

I go on my own (as do other carers)

He does not have dementia

QueenArseClangers Sat 22-Nov-14 13:43:38

You don't have to go back to visit a person who has sexually assaulted you!

rusticwomble Sat 22-Nov-14 13:43:45

Just say to him "Only my husband/boyfriend gets to do that, sorry" and go about your work. Set the boundary on whats allowed and whats not.

IWantDogger Sat 22-Nov-14 13:46:06

That's not acceptable. I also don't think that hugging your service users is appropriate and would have hoped you would have had some training about professional boundaries.

TweedAddict Sat 22-Nov-14 13:54:38

Don't hug your clients, it blurs boundaries and makes it easier for things like this to happen.

And yes I've done care, for many years.

IWantDogger Sat 22-Nov-14 13:55:06

Sorry let me rephrase that a bit - I would not expect you to have to go back to that service user, he should be allocated a new carer who should be made aware of his previous behaviour and advised to keep firm boundaries. As well as protecting you from an awkward situation that will send a message to the service user that he was inappropriate.
With your other service users I really wouldn't get into hugging. Keep things caring but professional and if they go to hug you turn it into a handshake!

Castlemilk Sat 22-Nov-14 13:59:50


No you are not overreacting.

I'd go above the person you spoke to. Tell them that you are putting in a formal complaint about the situation and the way it was handled. You do not expect to go back to this person again and if you are asked to, you will pursue that too. Make it clear that you were sexually assaulted and your complaint about it was dismissed.

What outcome do you expect? - retraining for the staff member who dismissed your complaint, an apology, and a procedure in place for service users who have this kind of complaint made against them to be provided with male staff/accompanied staff from then on in and any complaint fully investigated.

Tell them that your next step is your MP and any appropriate other bodies, and ACAS.

Myearhurts Sat 22-Nov-14 13:59:57

You are not being unreasonable.

His behaviour was inappropriate. Your manager's response was deeply inappropriate and unhelpful too.

In practical terms I have no idea what you can do about it. Can you band together with the other female carers to complain? Can you insist that he is only sent male carers from now on?

hippo123 Sat 22-Nov-14 14:02:49

I wouldn't go back. What does his risk assessment say? It's sounds to me that either 2 females should visit him together or a male worker. I think you need to be quite blunt with your boss, demand an incident form is filled in and make it clear that you will not be going to see him alone again.
On a separate note, never hug your clients.

fluffyraggies Sat 22-Nov-14 14:07:17

Very sad that lonely old people will miss out on a basic human contact such as a quick hug - because of behavior like this, from this man sad

flowers OP

pissedoffcarer Sat 22-Nov-14 14:16:27

Ok, where to start.

Hugging service users is not unacceptable, it is only unacceptable if we are doing something they don't like.

It wasn't sexual assault, he gave me a hug then made an inappropriate comment which made me feel extremely uncomfortable, i called my senior saying i didn't want to go back and was basically told "just tell him off" and that "he's just a lonely old man"

What do i want done? I want his social worker informed that he has been making inappropriate comments to female carers and i want my company to stop being so fucking soft and put him down as a "male carer only" call as he clearly cant behave properly around the females.

It beggars belief that he has form for this and nothing has been done, yes I'll tell him to behave and he wont try it with me again, but he'll still do it to any other female carers that go in there.

I'm so angry, i have to go tomorrow and cant even speak to anyone higher up until Monday. I'm so angry

WineWineWine Sat 22-Nov-14 14:32:33

He needs to be told by someone senior, that that type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If he cannot manage his behaviour then he will find himself without carers.
All female carers need to be warned that he has form for this, and taught how to respond to it, they should also be told to report it.
I agree that he should have a male carer only if this isn't sorted.

rusticwomble Sat 22-Nov-14 14:33:04

If he has form already for this, then it beggars belief that a lone female worker is even allowed to be his carer in the first place! I know services are stretched, but seriously.....?? Do high up people forget their brains on the way up or what? OP, try and write down everything you feel about this situation. Get it out of your head and try to enjoy what precious little free time you have. Hopefully by Monday, you will be able to approach this with the calm assertiveness it deserves. Good luck. smile

hippo123 Sat 22-Nov-14 14:42:50

Your boss sounds shit.

pissedoffcarer Sat 22-Nov-14 14:47:55

Well now i know I'm not overreacting I'm going to play hell on Monday.

I don't care how old or lonely he is the comment was out of order and made me feel fairly sickened. Nobody should have to put up with that at work

IWantDogger Sat 22-Nov-14 15:05:45

I don't think hugging your clients is unacceptable but it is inappropriate in my view and very unwise. It blurs professional boundaries and puts you in a risky situation. Please take that on board going forward.

pissedoffcarer Sat 22-Nov-14 16:06:44

I don't go around hugging everyone, you just get the odd one where, after doing something they really appreciate they will put their arms out to give you a hug as thanks, that's what this guy started doing, then it just progressed into 'aw nice to see you lass give me a hug'

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