Gloves or no gloves

this image shows a pair of hands with surgical latex gloves on

Gloves or no gloves ? – that is the question

As someone who is often with someone elderly person when other carers arrive to perform acts of daily living,  I always wonder about the great glove debate.

Some agencies only use them for personal care whilst others insist care staff wear them to do everything from toileting to making a sandwich. I just hope they are not using the same ones!

I am a great advocate of cleanliness and hygiene and whilst the glove has been proven to be the best barrier to germs, what is wrong with good hand washing and the use of alcohol hand cleansers ? If I was being cared for and someone came up to me wearing gloves I would feel they though I was unclean or un hygienic. It wouldn’t make me feel too special about myself.

I was recently helping an elderly woman was and her daughter is a GP. Her daughter even said she only wore gloves for internal examinations as she felt it was a physical barrier between her and her patient when it was unnecessary.

As for wearing gloves to make a sandwich – would you do that at home ?

Am I being over nit-picky here ? I would love to know your thoughts. Do you work for an agency that says gloves only for toileting duties ?


Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

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