31 and I already feel like I've destroyed my career.

Basically the title says it all, I’ve been caring for a disabled family member for the past 5 years. Given that I don’t own a place of my own, I’m essentially their live in carer and can only find work within walking distance from said house.

I’ve managed to find work in the past in between caring duties but inevitably over time I just collapse from exhaustion from multitasking both of them. For example recently I was working a position at a supermarket and would occasionally have situations where I’d finish at 9pm spend 30 minutes walking home, sorting out tablets, grabbing something to eat and washing up and having a shower before going to bed, only to wake up the next day and have breakfast and lunch sorted so I could walk 30 minutes to start work at 6am, getting a grand total of 4 hours sleep maximum for an incredibly physical job.

I just don’t know what to do. I’m chained to this house because without it I’m homeless but at the same time the location is really destroying all job opportunities. It doesn’t help that I cannot drive and there’s physically no room in the entire street for another car so I wouldn’t even be able to store it anywhere.

It just feels like I’m just going to keep doing this until she dies and I’ll be left penniless and homeless, meanwhile I have job interviews and see employers just roll their eyes whenever I mention that I’m a carer because of the stigma of people abusing carers allowance to just play video games all day.

Can you tell us a bit more about who you are caring for, age, disability, and who owns the home?
We should be able to find a few ideas to consider.
Your shifts sound dangerously long.

The house is owned by the family member in question and they’re in their 70s. They are basically bedridden with severe arthritus so cannot prepare meals themselves but can still access toilets etc. via commode, walk very short distances to the fridge to pick out sandwiches I’ve prepared and use the television which typically allows for me to be away from them for 8-10 hours per day without difficulty on days when I’m working.

And yes, the hours under normal circumstances are illegal but given that it’s a 24 hour store, it’s granted a government exception.

Why don’t you ask the council for a Carers Assessment?
Someone to talk to about your situation, no one else needs to know about it, totally confidential.
Is it a parent or grandparent?
Talk to an organisation called Shelter about your housing rights after they die or move into residential care.

Hi Samuel

Feeling trap is not a nice feeling and thinking there is no way out. There are options but it sounds the first thing to sort is a place where you can have as your own. Care can always be put in place for someone you look after. There are loads of way that can be achieved and their need met. Do you want to live independently of the situation. If yes but feel out of a sense of duty to keep caring. The are many ways to support people without doing all. It’s not unreasonable to have these types of conversations with the person you are looking after. Yes, it’s definitely difficult and you will need support to carry it out. I feel you need support where you live and a local carers support group. Is a great place to start which is just for you.


Follow the following steps:

  1. Think positive and hope for the best.
  2. Believe in yourself.
  3. Stop pitying yourself. Just look at those people who are living in worst situation than you.
  4. Distance yourself from negative people.
  5. Engage yourself in physical activities like running, cycling etc.

Has anyone ever told you that you cannot be forced to care?
Too often one family member becomes the sacrificial lamb, with all the caring left to that person so the others don’t have to do anything. My brothers left me to do it all, with so many excuses.
Really they are thinking about themselves, so it’s time for you to do the same.
When did you last have a weekend away?

Sounds similar to my situation