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My carer is refusing to wear a mask.

Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 198 Pioneering
edited April 2020 in Disabled people
I have a carer who attends to me during the week 5 days and has worked with me for 12 years but she also works for an agency. I also have a part time carer who works from a different agency and attends at weekend.  The carer who comes to me at the weekend has been wearing a face mask as well as gloves since the news of coronavirus has hit the UK but my weekday carer does not wear a mask or gloves. She is washing her constantly but she’s is not wearing a mask. It’s making me feel very uneasy as we are not 2 metres away when she’s assisting me and every time I have broached the subject she just says the mask do not good and that droplets can go onto the mask and she could get infected. My point is that she’s visiting care users and now their family are isolated so she has far more contact with people than I have and now I’m getting concern if she picks up the virus she could pass that on to me. When I attempted to the broached the subject but instead asked if she would be prepared to wear a face mask in my home, she abruptly said she would not wear a mask.
I’m not sure what to do now as I rely on her but it’s making feel extremely anxious. What can I do?
Is there any legislation that carers need to wear masks?


  • CressidaCressida Member Posts: 908 Pioneering
    @Rifi7 I think the research shows that the masks aren't that effective. Would wearing a mask yourself make you feel a bit safer? You could ask your carer who uses a mask if she has a spare one.  If the unmasked carer is still doing a lot of good hand washing that is more important. Good luck. 
  • worried33worried33 Member Posts: 399 Pioneering
    They dont completely prevent the spread of the virus, but they have "some" mitigation.  To me it would be common sense for a carer to wear mask for her own protection as well as the people she is caring for.

    The argument that they have no benefit its mooted by the fact hospital staff wear them, they not magical and only work when worn by a hospital staff member, they clearly have some benefit.  
  • atlas47atlas47 Member Posts: 241 Pioneering
    Hi @Rifi7

    Could you try speaking to the agency, that employs your weekend carer.

    To see what guidance they are providing to their staff, during this lockdown period.

    You could also phone your local hospital and ask to speak to it’s Infection Control department, I have found them very helpful.

    You could also phone your County Council and seek advice from it’s Public Health, Doctors and Nurses.

    You could also speak to your local pharmacist, for advice on what PPE, is available for your Carers. 

    One final point, your carer is there to meet your needs, not her choice.

    I would start a conversation about the very sad news yesterday, that two teenage boys, with no underlying conditions, passed away yesterday, one was 13 years and the other was 19 years RIP.

    If that is not a wake up call for all of us, to take great care at this difficult period.

    Keep us informed and take care.
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 198 Pioneering
    Thank you to all that have replied. All relevant points and advice. I have asked the agency who comes to me at the weekend and they just said that it’s their policy as a agency for staff to wear the mask, but they cannot advise or comment on other agencies.

    I totally agree that she’s suppose to be there for my needs but if I push her to wear one she just won’t turn up to work and because she doesn’t work for an agency and is on the payroll she know it will be difficult for me to find cover. I do feel very disappointed that after being with me for twelve years she’s not even considering my feelings. On one hand she’s a good carer to me as she takes me out and loads my scooter in her car and takes my dog out for me but on the other hand since shes been on the payroll in the last year she’s just abused the her position.  I feel I can’t say anything to her that I’m not happy with because of fear she will just walk out and leave me with nobody. She does know that I rely on her and often tells me no one will do what I do for you.

    I recently got assessed from a agency near to where I live that are  due to start who will cover her while she’s on her annual leave and if they work out I will have to consider letting this carer go. It’s a shame if that happens but I just can’t feeling I’m held hostage with her position.

    Anyhow thank you guys for advice. I will look be looking into it.
  • lesley58lesley58 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    If your worried about it. I would wear one yourself. The problem with wearing a mask is that if your not used too. You can do more harm than good. Because without one on you wouldn't nessasily touch your face. But wearing one when your not used to it. People will keep fiddling with it. In tail means you keep touching you face. Putting you more at risk. 
    As long as she is washing hands when she arrives and wiping door hands, light switches down. 
    I personally think that's the best. My partner works for the NHS. Hes not wearing a mask. No facial hair and short or tied back hair. Bare below the elbow. Is the rules for them. When he comes home I get him to strip and put his work clothes in the washing machine and go straight for a shower. Then he can say hello. 
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 198 Pioneering
    Thank you Lesley58. Firstly and mostly thank your partner for the job that himself and his colleague are doing!  o:) 
    I did a bit of researching online and although a lot of the sites give conflicting advice most of the reputable sites are saying your better off without the masks. I think consensus is the mask does not much difference, what’s important is the hand washing and wiping down the light switches.

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Rifi7, I'm glad you have been able to do some research and be more clearer on the guidance.

    Here is some information about having carers during the pandemic. I hope it goes okay. :)

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