Woman refuses help from male carer

A 93 year-old woman was left without home
visits after refusing to be bathed by a male carer.

Una Penny, who lives in sheltered
accommodation in Thornbury, Gloucestershire, became distressed when
the carer called at her home to help her bathe and she refused to
allow him in.

Previously, Penny had received help from
female carers who helped her to shower and wash her hair, but when
South Gloucestershire Council changed to a new provider, the only
carer available was male.

Her family has alleged that after Penny
refused to allow the man into her home they were informed that she
might have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and would be
infringing the carer’s human rights if she continued to refuse.

“I am not a prude, but I consider the idea of
being helped to bathe by a man I do not know to be monstrous,” said

A spokesperson for South Gloucestershire
Council said: “Una Penny is now receiving care from a female carer.
The contracts were changed about a month ago and at the time the
only carer available was male.

“She didn’t object immediately and so we were
not aware of her objection. It is all to do with shortages in this
area for home carers and it is incredibly difficult for our social
services department at the moment.”

The council said Penny was not told she would
need a psychiatric assessment or that any human rights issue had
been raised. The council said it would look in to the circumstances
of the case to try to establish the facts.

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