Feeling Alone.

Hey all, so I currently care for my 83yo Grandmother. She is unable to be left on her own as she can barely walk to the bathroom let alone make her own lunch or use any oven/grill. I do everything for her day in and day out with minimal support. My aunt and uncle live a 5 minute drive from us, however they run their own business doing childminding. So when they do come over to give me a ‘break’ they come just as I’m in the middle of making dinner which means no time to myself. During the day my grandmother doesn’t want to be left alone and really gets upset if I just leave her so I have to sit downstairs with her from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep. They take my nana to the caravan on weekends however she has started saying that she will never go back, and that there are too many memories there. She knows that during the time she is away that is my time to have to myself. I feel like having time to myself is gradually being taken away from me, like I will end up being trapped here and being used. The more I think about it the more I want to approach my family about it but we have already had a similar conversation before (that time was due to my grandmothers behaviour towards me) and I was made to feel guilty that they have a business to run and they would have to close it down. I feel more and more trapped. I moved all the way home in June (From Vietnam) to take care of my nana, I have never once lived with anyone to this extent before and I just feel like my life is being taken from me. I don’t know where to turn or how to move past this.

Hi Kirsty,

Welcome to the forum.

I’m not surprised you are feeling trapped. If your aunt and uncle always arrive when you are cooking dinner to ‘give you a break,’ then you have three options; you could ask them to come after dinner instead or you could leave them to prepare your Nana’s dinner or you could swap lunch and dinner and have you main meal with Nana at lunchtime and leave her sandwiches or soup etc. This would then enable you to go out or spend time at home doing your own thing.

Re your break at weekends, that’s difficult. Do your aunt and uncle go to the caravan every weekend? Could you go to the caravan for. a break sometimes instead? It might be that you have to have an honest conversation with Nana and explain that you caring for her Monday to Friday is conditional on the fact that you have weekends off and point out that since she can’t cope on her own she either needs to go to the caravan or will need care worker visits instead.


Hey Melly, thank you for the quick response I really appreciate it.
The problem I’ve got with changing the dinner situation is that my aunt and uncle will want to only stay until 6/7pm latest. Like I said during that time I’m cooking dinner, for them to come later I will get told that its not feesable as they want to be home having their own dinner as well as getting their daughters ready for bed. As for swapping the times, that would confuse my Grandma as shes so set in a routine. She has Dementia, (undiagnosed at the moment but we have a lot of doctors involved) so we try to keep her routine as solid and constant as possible.

No they don’t go every weekend, and for me to go to the caravan its quite a distance and I unfortunately don’t drive. When they don’t go to the caravan they often say that its my time to have to myself but if were at the house they will still expect me to do all the things I typically would for my grandmother but once I’ve done those I’m able to go and do my own thing. Explaining things to my grandmother would be great but honestly by the next day, sometimes next hour even, she would have completely forgotten, then for me to explain it to her again she would refuse. Its swings and round about with her, she can be lovely one minute and completely changed the next. She also refuses to have anyone who she doesn’t know inside of the house, which makes it hell to try and find someone to come and care for her. I guess I’m just really struggling and part of me just wants to tell my aunt that I just can’t do this anymore. Yet the other side of me keeps saying ‘its not all about you’.


This is way too much for anyone. How old are you?,
What did you do before you cared for your Nana?

I just don’t see the fact that your aunt and uncle have a business as justification to expect you to do it all. They have young children as well though it seems so practically they wouldn’t be able to do it all even if they shut the business.

Have you checked out Wiltshire Farm food meals that can be done in the microwave? A relative of mine has them.

There’s 3 options

Continue as you are and get more and more fed up and miss out on your life

Get a social services care package in so you have free time

Your nana go into a home

Your life is just as important as your nanas.
What do you want to happen?

I moved all the way home in June (From Vietnam) to take care of my nana

Were you asked to come and look after nana did you actually want to come.

I just wanted to sort of update you all on this situation.
Yesterday they arrived home around 5pm and I kept out the way. When asked if everything was alright I broke into a million bits, I was very open and honest, telling my aunt and uncle that I cannot do this anymore. I can’t live here and do this full time as I’m missing my life. I’m 32 (so not that young but I’m not married, I’ve had no kids and I’d like to experience some of that) I’ve agreed that I will come and spend Monday-Friday here doing 7 hours each day, then returning to my own safe place where I can have my own space. Weekends are now my own and we have agreed that when they need time together that we will sort it out as a family. It doesn’t feel so much like me vs them anymore.
We’ve all agreed that this is for the best as the way I’m feeling is starting to tear my relationship apart with my nana aswell as with my aunt. So on Saturday I will move in with a close friend and save up for my own place.
Mentally I’m doing a lot better and I feel a lot less stressed about how to approach things. There are still a few things I’d love to chat to you all about, but maybe not on this post per say. :smiley:

Kirsty if you are going to do 7 hrs daily. Which is still a lot. Do you have any income to live on.

Kirsty, your nan is not your responsibility, but that of your parents, and your aunt and uncle.
Nothing is going to change for the better until you leave or nan dies.
Tell us more about nan.
How old is she? Is she English? If not, how long has she been in the UK?
Does she own or rent her home?
Are you being paid by the family to care for her? How much?

No I know she isn’t, however since my Grandfather passed away there has been no-one else step up to the mark. I always said I would help as much as I could and now here I am. My father passed away last year, so that just leaves her 3 daughters. Her youngest (my aunt and uncle who lives 5 mins away), is now stepping in and they are going to have to take over after 5pm and during the weekend. However her middle daughter is taking care of her partner already as he has cancer, and her oldest daughter lives in Ireland and has recently suffered a stroke and also has severe mental health issues. Nana is 83, shes very British and very set in her ways haha. She owns the house however its already in the will that it is to be handed to my two cousins after she passes. I am not being paid by my family as such, however I am in receipt of benefits (carers allowance and universal credit) this adds up to around 500pm, and they will also cover the cost of rent when I find a place of my own.

Kristy good to hear your finances are in hand. As a carer you are also entitled to a yearly carers grant.

Are you attached to a carers group in your area. As grants can be attached to such organisations to administer on behalf of local authorities.


The grants are not means tested.

I hope I can persuade you to think differently about your situation.
If Nana goes into residential care, depending on her care needs, it would cost her £1,000 or more a week. So every week you care for Nana you are keeping her out of residential care, increasing your cousins’ inheritance by £500 each per week!
You are being used as the family sacrificial lamb, they are all using you. They don’t care about you at all, they only care about not disturbing their own lives. Sadly, I was also treated unfairly in a not too different way. Only later did I realise what they’d been doing.
The only person that really cares about you is YOU. Stand up for your own life and your right to a family etc. etc.
Give them an ultimatum. Unless they arrange proper care for nan, you are leaving. And mean it. She is NOT your responsibility, but the responsibility of her three surviving children.