Am I a carer?

My dad passed away a few years ago leaving my mum whos now 70. I have 2 sisters who both help with care such as company at appointments, company at home, leisure activities etc. I’m feeling really stressed by the constant need to be available and my constant thinking about my mum and worrying she’s lonely while I have my own young family, job and life… I’m confused, am I a carer in this situation?

Absolutely a carer, because mum is having a significant effect on your life.
I had counselling, which helped me sort out my priorities, as like you I was being pulled in all directions, there was never any time for me.
The counsellor supported me to discuss how I could do this.
My brain damaged son couldn’t speak up for himself, my disabled mum could. So mum had to come second to my son. She didn’t like it, but understood.
So sit down with your family and think what the problems are, maybe make a list?
What jobs must be done?
Could they be done differently, or dumped altogether?
Gardening can be done by someone else, cleaning, shopping don’t need family either.
Why do you feel you have to be available all the time?

I was widowed at 54, and disabled 3 months later in a car accident.
Making a new life is difficult, but mum seems to want everyone to do everything dad used to?
That’s not fair, and will leave all of you doing more and more until she dies.
She needs to do more for herself, and have someone other than family taking her to appointments, leisure activities etc.

Now I’m the same age as mum, I’ve been on lots of foreign holidays, rented cottages and taken my sewing machine to sew in the evenings. Maybe time for mum to be more independent,take more control of her own life, and spread her wings? Prepare to be a bit scared, make new friends, and discover a new life for herself?

Hi ThisisIreland

As a forum ambassador I wanted to wish you a warm welcome to the forum. I wanted to highlight a couple of different options for connecting with fellow carers and for getting support from Carers UK should you need it.

Carers UK run online weekly meet ups for carers to take some time for themselves and chat to other carers. Feel free to join if you’d like to and there’s no pressure to share anything you don’t want to. I’m sure you’ll find many other carers are in a similar situation to yourself.

You can find information on how to register to our online meetups at the following pages:

Care for a Cuppa: Online meetups | Carers UK - the next online meet up is today, 15.00-16.00 with further sessions shown in that link. This social is a great way to have a little break if you are able to and spend some quality time talking to people who understand what you are going through right now.

Share and Learn: Share and Learn | Carers UK - these sessions range from creative writing activities to beginners Latin dance sessions.

I suggest you also get in touch with the Carers UK helpline to discussion your situation and what support is available

The Carers UK Telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email ( They can help provide support and guidance on:

  • Benefits and financial support
  • Your rights as a carer in the workplace
  • Carers’ assessments and how to get support in your caring role
  • Services available to carers and the people you care for
  • How to complain effectively and challenge decisions.