Hello from East Sussex

Hello everyone :slight_smile:

I just found you guys after searching for a carer’s forum. I kinda wish I’d done this sooner, didn’t realise anything like this was out there. I tend to ramble with intros so I’ll do my best to keep this short, lol. :slight_smile:

I care for my parents, have done for quite some time now. I currently work part-time but about to take redundancy because I’m being replaced by a machine. I’ve worked at the same company since I was 16 so it’s been my only job, redundancy is very scary and I’ve no clue about what happens.

Work are being rather unhelpful over a number of issues which I won’t go into here, but I was recently diagnosed with anxiety and depression. So my reasons for taking redundancy are those and the fact I care for my parents and their needs have increased in recent months.

I myself have been unwell for 6 and a half years, this all hit me literally out of the blue, no trigger/life event and it’s taken this long and a switch of doctor’s to find out what’s going on. I’m still a little wary because of the physical symptoms, I don’t fully understand how things like that can be anxiety/depression related, but I’m learning through books and online stuff.

I’ve a few things that help get me through but I’m struggling with the symptoms a lot of the time, every day is different, some worse than others. To add to the anxiety/depression I’m incredibly shy (bullied from school age right through college and even at work snarky comments from customers who say things like ‘smile, it’s not the end of the world’. I’m not at all social and don’t go out but enjoy being online.

Sorry this is long!

Hi Tammie,
Welcome to the forum - so glad you found us. I hope you find it supportive and friendly.

Bit short of time just now, as my caree needs me.

Others will be along tomorrow I’m sure to welcome you and offer advice.


Hi Tammie and welcome.
Couple of quick questions that might help us guide you to help /support
How old are you?
How old are parents?
Do you have your own home, and them theirs ?

Redundancy is quite a simple process, once it’s all agreed you will have a leaving date and be paid whatever the deal is . That’s it. Its the feelings around it that can be difficult to cope with.

Anxiety and /or stress can be very physical. For example I know with me, if I get chest pains or palpitations it’s probably because I’m stressed about something, sometimes I didn’t even realise I was stressed about a certain thing until the chest pains started. I thought I was coping :slight_smile:
It can also cause interrupted sleep, poor sleep, early waking, over sleeping! Not easy to pin down.

That’s why physical remedies can hep so much, exercise, walking, yoga etc

Hope you find the forum useful and supportive. It’s great for the shy as no one knows who you are


Hi Melly1, thank you for the lovely welcome! :slight_smile:

Hello MrsA :slight_smile:

Thank you also for the lovely welcome!

I’m going to be 36 in a few weeks. Mum is 67, Dad 87. I live with them (always have), they rent from the local Council.

Well, redundancy sounds simple. We don’t have a date as to when things are changing so everything is up in the air. I’m due one more meeting with my line manager and personnel manager, I should have a letter from my doctor by then regarding my anxiety/depression symptoms and why they prevent me from taking another position within the company. The added complication is I have a grievance out against another colleague which they’ve done absolutely nothing about and are now refusing to because of a health issue with that colleague. I’ve been frustrated because I put this in during September 2018, chased it weekly and then they tell me 2 weeks ago about the health issue. My anxiety symptoms went through the roof that weekend and after confronting my manager on the Monday and having her reply “I can’t comment on that” to every question I had, I refused to go in on my next shift (Tuesday). Working with the colleague is very difficult but I’m on holiday at the moment so I won’t know what they’ve done til I go back Friday. All of that is adding to the redundancy/grievance/anxiety issue.

I’ve had what I’m calling “uncomfortable” in my chest. I did tell my doctor and she had me book in for an ECG about a month ago. I heard nothing back so I’m assuming all was okay or else they’d have had me in. I do have to ring next week to get the letter so I’ll try to remember to ask then. But I’m sure if it was serious they’d have spotted it and notified me.

Sleep is a huge issue for me. I’m kind of a night owl anyway, I go up to bed around 11pm, read / iPad stuff and probably settle down between 1am-2am (I try for earlier). Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep or wake up a lot. One of my Dad’s health issues involves many trips to the bathroom in the night and at the moment he has a chest infection that’s causing him to cough in the night, so that doesn’t help either. Getting up is a nightmare, usually around 11am right now. Dad’s quite noisy getting up in the morning and he often talks to the cats right outside my door or makes a noise going by. Keeps Mum awake too. We have told him but it makes no difference. We avoid any early morning appointments because I often just don’t sleep the night before and I feel like a zombie, I’m almost falling over tired, my head hurts and I feel awful.

I take a Vitamin D tablet because my doctor said I was a little low in that, but nothing else. She did prescribe Zoloft/Sertraline but the side effects were so frightening I decided against taking them. I’ve spoken to a few friends online who take it and had no issues, but I’m still uncertain.

I don’t exercise at all, just maybe ride my bike in the Summer. Although the last time I did that when I got back I felt light-headed and dizzy. I’d been unwell a few days, my Mum was in hospital seriously ill and one of my cats was being put down the next day. Looking back I was probably stupid for going out on the bike but it’s put me off a little. Back before I had the anxiety/depression diagnosis I seemed to get re-occuring urine infections - that’s what doctor’s initially said but when they’d send a sample off to the hospital it would come back negative. They’d put me on antibiotics which would make me feel even lousier. Touch wood I haven’t had one in quite a while. Just two nasty bouts of Pharyngitis.

Sorry again for the long reply, I really must learn to keep replies short, lol.

Hi Tammie.

Just one observation from your last post.

Rent property from the local LA.

Down the line , any problem with " Succession ? "

Link to Shelter for full details on this … one poster , Lambchop , became homeless as a result :

Can you inherit a council tenancy? - Shelter England

Certainly one to bear in mind in the future.

Hi Tammie,

It is really important that you talk to mum and dad’s council as soon as possible to find out what will happen to you if they die or move into residential care. Make sure you write to them explaining the position, and that they WRITE a reply.
Some councils will not relative carers like you to stay there once your parents no longer live there, others will. You need to find out which applies to you asap.

I was a multiple carer for many years, and it is so difficult knowing you are never really “off duty”. It is vital that mum and dad accept some outside care on a weekly basis to give you time off. Please find something that interests you, amongst a few people you can like and get to know, as part of your “Future Plan”.

You should also make sure you have Power of Attorney for both your parents if possible. Make sure they have all their financial matters in order if you can (I know some parents will not co operate, others will welcome help). Do they both claim Atttendance Allowance, so you can claim Carers Allowance.

Hi Tammie
It does sound like redundancy may offer you an escape route from that particular employment, but what do you want for the future? Although claiming Carers allownace gives you the same as unemployment benefit, it isn’t enough to live on long term, and if you are out of work for a while it will be very very difficult to get back into work when caring ceases.
As well as money, work also brings social interaction , self worth and a life outside the home.
Usually on here we strongly advocate that people stay working as long as possible for those reasons

The care you can provide at home can be at least partially provided by outside support of various types. You are very young to be giving up any chance of an independent adult life of your own.

I’d like you to concentrate on you for a while, have some counselling (you can self refer without involving the doctor by googling CBT and your area) and get yourself into a more positive and calmer frame of mind before making any major decisions.

Start excerise gently just by walking a bit each day, there are apps that will time you and motivate you.
There are also mediation apps that will help improve your mood just by listening daily. I like one called Insight Timer. There are lots of other ideas and tips here

Just a step at a time will get you in the right direction


Thanks for the replies Chris From The Gulag and bowlingbun!

It’s not really a subject we’ve talked about much, if we did it would be Mum not Dad. Mum would discuss it with Dad when I wasn’t at home. I think Mum has all that in order but not so much Dad. As for the Council, I really don’t know.

Hello again,

I’m not sure what I want apart from to feel better. I don’t want to work in retail anymore, that’s for sure. But with my health it would be unwise for me to land that on a potential employer. Right now I have flexibility to leave when necessary, which I try not to let happen unless absolutely necessary.

The lady I spoke to at the benefits help group for my area said I would be able to claim Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit. She did suggest PiP but having looked into that I don’t qualify at all, it would be wrong of me to even think about claiming. So at the moment it’s just those two. I am worried about this, because even though I live at home I still have expenses (car being the most expensive and credit card bill which I’m trying to bring down).

I’ve been referred to Health In Mind who suggested I attend something called a Stress Control Group, so I’ve signed up, it starts next month for 6 weeks once a week for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

My doctor is writing my letter for work but because I’m not taking the medication she said that may go against me, but the possible side effects would prevent me from working and driving if I took them. I may rethink once the job loss happens, because being on medication for things may help with any benefit claim.

I don’t want that to be long term but right now I don’t know what I want to do. I’ve never had a goal of what I want to be. I enjoy photography, running the social media fan accounts and I’ve started blogging too. Maybe the photography can take me somewhere, I don’t know.

I just really, really need this anxiety/depression to be under more control because it’s preventing me from doing so many things.

PLEASE contact the council asap and find out whether they will give you any right to stay in the house once mum and dad don’t live there any more. Sadly, we have had a number of carers who have been made homeless after the last parent either died or moved into residential care.
Write to the council yourself, explain that you are their carer, and ask if they will allow you to stay there, or offer you a smaller property, under these circumstances.

You have been badly advised on benefits, Tammy.

While, like myself, you understandably do not want to apply for PIP, you would (once made redundant) be eligible to apply for New Style/Contributory ESA due to your NI contributions .

ESA is worth slightly more than CA, in fact you could claim both and receive extra 8.50/wk (6.95/wk from Apr) ESA top-up on your CA (that what I do).

What’s ESA, I haven’t heard of that one. All these letters are hard to work out sometimes :slight_smile:

So should I apply for Universal Credit too, or not? Once I have a date I can contact the benefits people again and I’ll ask about that ESA to see if it applies.

It’s kind of a thing I haven’t thought about because it’s all pretty scary. I flat out wouldn’t be able to afford the bills.

It will be even more scary to be given 4 weeks notice to leave the property when you are left on your own! This has happened to a number of carers and is the precise reason why it’s so important that you find out what your council policy is now, so that you can make plans.
IF they agree to rehouse you in a smaller property, and were not working, you would possibly be entitled to housing benefit, but you do need to make finding out a priority now. Are you now claiming Attendance Allowance?

Tammie … benefits ?


Employment and Support Allowance (ESA): Overview - GOV.UK

Old names … unemployment benfit / job seekers allowance.

If Carers Allowance cannot be claimed … no PIP or Attendance Allowance paid to a parent ( ? ) … that’s your first step.

Housing … warnings posted are for you to ponder on … we can do no more.

No so much as to whether you can afford the bills , more a case of having the right to live there.

An Online Benefits Calculator for you to crunch some munbers … it will produce your likely level of future income :


Thanks Chris, Mum gets PIP and Dad gets AA.

Not claiming anything at all because of still working. Mum gets PIP and Dad gets AA and they both get State Pension but that’s it.

Sorry, that should have read are you now claiming Carers Allowance, but I’d forgotten that you were still working.

No worries :slight_smile:

But no, I’m not. I earn about £40 a week too much, which works out at my shortest shift, but because of the upcoming redundancy I can’t drop those hours or else it’ll effect it. I did speak to my Union rep about that and that’s what he told me.

Everything is up in the air. We’re all due a final meeting but because they have no date when things are happening they’ve postponed the final meetings (they were due to take place by mid-March). The planning decision from the Council’s side is being made on 11th March but even then it’s down to the company as to when they start the work. They’re doing what they’re doing to our store to a number of stores so I don’t know if they’re doing it all in one go or spaced out over time, no-one knows.

It’s making life very difficult because I need to do some financial things which I can’t until I have a date because obviously things matter if you’re employed or unemployed. It’s so frustrating!