Determining how to care for people who are different sexually
| Recent developments have aroused in me what it means to mean to be an effective caregiver in a setting that consists of five mentally disabled men being cared for by an all female staff. I was recently contracted to work in this setting and I will be faced with whether I want to work for the agency. I currently am contracted to work as a team lead. I have been told this will probably change when I am hired. I will be faced with a demotion and cut in pay, because a woman waits in the wings to work in the position I am contracted for.
I hate to be a poor sport. My problem is the fact woman will be calling the shots about how to take care of men and tell me what it means for me caregiver taking care of men implying(in my opinion) that I am not man enough to make that judgement.
It is not like I don't have choices. I am also hired to be a caregiver for a male with who will be getting his degree in three years. He likes my work and waits in the wings. He has voiced a desire for me to be full time staff.
Here is the catch. In a very short time I have gained the respect of all the male residents. A few of them look up to me. One of them in particular is under constant criticism. I do not disagree with what they say. It is what they do with what they know. Instead of being treated like a man they treat a man who is 59 years old like a child.
I am not at all immune to the ramifications of treating of an adult like a child. About fifteen years ago I took care of a mentally disabled woman who had been treated like a child by other staff. She was about the same age as the man I have talked about. The only difference was I always was feeling inadequate for the task since I was a man taking care of a woman. I sought to train a woman how to treat care for her, because in my eyes a woman needs to take care of a woman. This woman was also very abusive. During the few years I worked with her I learned a great deal about respect and giving people choices. Still, I will always wonder if it was my place to be a primary care giver for a woman.
in the present caregiving climate it is not even an issue. Men are NOT to take care of woman in the way I did. Yet what is bothersome, females are natural caregiver's and can take care of a man as well as or even better than a male caregiver.
The current climate is offensive to me. There is nothing I can do to change it. I will not put myself in a position to tell a woman how to be a woman and am told to stay clear for my own protection (I will face risk of accusations of sexual misconduct).
What would it be like if the shoe were on the other foot and all the residents were females and caregivers were male. Could that be considered reasonable? So in four weeks I will be faced with a decision. Can I be in effect the only male caregiver and be at peace with this? Time will tell. I am currently also the oldest person on staff at 61. What are your convictions on this matter. Can a person of the opposite sex be as effective in treating someone who is not of their gender?