I’m scared about having to give up my future to care for dad


Last year my dad suffered from a Traumatic brain injury and is now living in a care home away from home being looked after. He’s really quite brain damaged but they expect to send him home in the next year. I’m in my 2nd year at uni and I used to be so excited about my future and all the travel plans I had, but I feel that I’ll now have to give that up to stay at home with my mum to help care for my dad. I don’t think she’d manage on her own. I don’t know what kind of support she will have or if he’s able to stay in a home permanently, but I feel so guilty to even think this way, but I know my mum would be happier to as she’d have her own life. I obviously love my dad and want to help him but I also don’t want to give up my future. I wanted to eventually move out of my home city as I’ve never lived anywhere else, and I wanted to travel when I graduate but I just can’t imagine leaving my mum. I have two brothers; one of them is close by and he’s been amazing as supporting my mum this past year, the other lives far away and is pretty absent. I don’t want to rely on my nearby brother to support my mum as he already has a career and a life, so I feel like he’d be giving up more.

I’m not quite sure what kind of replies I’m wanting but if anyone else has gone through this I’d love some advice. I can’t stop stressing about it and I can’t be excited for my future anymore.

Thank you for any advice :slight_smile:

You’re under no obligation to provide care for anyone, no matter what your relationship.

Obviously your Mum would be happier for you to help, but surely not at the cost of your future - there’s a lot of it still to come.

If your Mum can’t manage on her own, the same rules apply as in my first sentence and Social Services will have to work something out.

Be warned, you cannot trust S/S to do what is best for your Dad and the rest of his family, only what is best for S/S.

Has your Dad been assessed for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC)? If granted, it would mean that all his care costs would be paid for, either in residential care or at home with your mother, which may give her the support she needs.

You shouldn’t need to give up your future to help your Mum care for your Dad.

This doesn’t mean you are abandoning them, you can still phone, visit and even takeover sometimes so that your Mum can take a break or holiday.

Focus attention on getting the right support fit your Dad either at home with your Mum or in residential care/supported living. This can be funded by continuing healthcare if he qualifies or by social care. This will need fighting for, unfortunately.

You might find this organisation helpful too Supporting you | Headway

Make sure your Uni are aware about your Dad, so they can offer you the right support too.


Welcome to the forum.

The best way of approaching this is to think of it as you would a degree project.
Where are you now, where do you want to be, and how are you going to get there.
The goal is to find the best future care for dad.
First, work out what dad NEEDS.
Then find out how much care he NEEDS?
How many people it will take?
What skills do those people need?
Who has those skills?
Where is the best place for dad’s needs to be met, long term.
Then find out how that place can be funded.

From what you have said so far, I think you already know what you feel would be best, but don’t short circuit this process.
Go through it with mum too, that’s really important, so that she feels part of this process.

To help you go through this, and make it as painless as possible (it’s still going to be emotionally difficult for you and mum) have a look at the

“NHS Continuing Healthcare Framework” which I will refer to as CHC.
Go through the assessment checklist" with mum.

Hospital staff can be horrible bullies, I’ve met many. Social workers likewise.
If you go through what I’ve suggested, slowly and carefully, you should find the best answer for all concerned.

The maximum care Social Services offer is usually four visits, maybe with 2 staff at a time, for up to an hour.
That still leaves 20 hours with mum in sole charge, 7 days a week.