Is recruiting more men the answer to the care time-bomb?

male carer attending elderly resident

Britain’s growing demand for carers has been called a workforce time-bomb – and industry experts have suggested that one of the best ways of diffusing it is to recruit more men.

Currently more than 80 per cent of carers – four in every five – are women and just 16 per cent are men. This figure has remained static since 2012, despite an increasing number of men needing care into old age.

“When it comes to personal care in particular, some men prefer this to be done by a male rather than female,” says Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England.

But men are often prevented from becoming professional carers by entrenched perceptions, he adds.

“The problem is people always see caring roles as being female roles. We need to make society understand that everyone has the potential to be carer.”

A recent report by the International Longevity Centre UK and care charity Anchor predicts that one million new care roles will be needed by 2025 to meet rising demand and currently unmet need. Over the same period, the number of people of working age is expected to rise by just 2.5 million.

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