Hi everyone, my name is Ryan and I’m a full-time carer for my mother who suffers with mental and physical health problems. I also have mental health difficulties. My mum used to be really outgoing, energetic and bubbly but now she sleeps all day and has no energy or interest in anything. She isn’t very cooperative with mental health services and I’ve tried several times to encourage her to join some support/social groups but she refuses.
I can identify with that. My mum withdrew more and more from socialising over several years. She didn’t even like anyone but family coming to our home and if someone invited her somewhere she’d find an excuse not to go.
Do you have any other family or support?
I have access to support groups for carers and also mental health support. I don’t really have any friends tbh, I only have 1 friend and we don’t really have much in common anymore and hardly talk. I have family but they’re not really supportive and can be quite overbearing at times so don’t have a great relationship with them. I’d really like to meet new people and hopefully make new friends.
I wanted to wish you a warm welcome to the forum and to highlight some of the options for connecting with fellow carers and for getting support from Carers UK should you need it.
Carers UK are running 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 others in a similar position 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 tomorrow (Tuesday 20 July), 11.30-12.30 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.
There is also Carers UK’s helpline should you need advice or support - Our Telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (email@example.com)
Carers UK also provide information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers a range of subjects including:
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.
Welcome to the forum.
Can I ask how old mum is? How old are you?
My own mum became disabled with arthritis and said “I don’t want anyone to see me like this”, so she cut herself off from the world. Rejected all ideas of clubs, groups etc. Wouldn’t even put a notice in the paper when dad died, then complained suddenly that no one wrote to her with condolences afterwards - well they didn’t know he’d died!
Fortunately, I didn’t live with mum, although after my own husband died she made unsubtle hints about having a “live in daughter”. No house in the world would be big enough for the two of us, especially as she had OCD!!
Have you always lived with mum?
I’m concerned that she is dragging you down and not supporting you to meet any of your dreams.
Thanks for sharing that information Rob. I’m not really one for online groups, etc but would be more than happy to attend if any take place face-to-face in the future. Kind regards.
My mother has just turned 50 and I’m 26.
Haven’t always lived with her, I was in foster care until I was 18 and then got my own flat (which I still have) but spend most days at my mum’s to care for her and the dogs, otherwise she probably wouldn’t get out of bed. It is quite frustrating because I do feel like she is dragging me down by not trying to improve her own health.
That sounds really tough on you - and very isolating. You are still so young, you are in inspiration caring for your mum as you are…
It is good to hear that you have your own flat to go back to. Does your mum have any interests? - perhaps very slowly you could try and catch her attention in the house with these and over months this new interest may spark her to want to do more for herself and maybe in time engage with mental health services?
Ryan, I’m so pleased you have your own place. The only solution is to make yourself less “available”.
Are you ever able to work?
I spent 30 years trying to get my own mum to enjoy life more, get out and about. Waste of time. All she wanted to do was fiddle around with her plants in her back garden. Don’t waste your life trying to please her, especially as you grew up in foster care.
Thank you so much.
She used to like music and attending a local social group but she hasn’t been for several months.
Sometimes we go to the cinema and she enjoys that so maybe we can try that again. I can continue to try and encourage her to engage with services.
I can try to take a step back and maybe that will force her to step up and be a little more independent.
Work feels overwhelming at present but maybe I can look in voluntary work and filling my free time with some hobbies and activities for myself.
Maybe study for a qualification?
I wouldn’t be able to afford to study, I struggle to pay bills as it is. I did go college after I left school but the subjects I studied, I’m no longer interested in. I just wish I had chosen to pursue different course subjects.
When did you last have a Carers Assessment? They may be able to give you a grant to cover the cost of a course.
Erm, I’m not sure I’ve ever had an official carer’s assessment. Would I need to contact my local council?
Yes, you are entitled to one, which should be updated annually. It looks at what the council can offer you to help with your caring role.
I’ll get in contact with them, thank you.