I’ve just become a carer and I don’t want to be.

So I’m 23 and I recently lost my dad. My mother is also severely disabled to the point where she refuses to do anything on her own. Before my dad died her was her carer. I’m at university and everyone is expecting me to quit to attend to her full time, but I don’t want to quit. Uni is my life right now. Rather than understand that I’m grieving for my dad, people just seem to be having ago at me. Everyone is acting like I’m not here and I don’t have any feelings. I’m being called selfish and everything and I’m getting really depressed because of it. Suddenly my whole life is non-existent. As for getting help, it all costs money. So I’m afraid I am stuck there. I don’t know what to do. I have no support at all. I just don’t want to be a carer.

:ohmy: :cry: :question: :dry: :imp: :-??? :unsure: :ohmy: :blush: :frowning:

No-one is under any obligation to care for anyone else, no matter what their relationship.

You’ve made a very sound decision: don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise.

You are absolutely doing the right thing. It’s a shame these people are so fixated on their ideas. It doesn’t help anyone if you give up your own life now.

Do NOT give up your course, you will regret it forever.
Treat “sorting out mum” like you would a degree project!
Write everything out as if mum isn’t a relative, really dispassionately.

What is wrong with her?
What exactly does she want?
Have Social Services done a Needs Assessment for mum?
Have you had a Social Services Carers Assessment?
How old is she?
Does she own or rent her home?
Do you have siblings?
What does she need?
How is it going to be paid for?
Do you know anything about her finances?
Do you have Power of Attorney?
Is she claiming Personal Independence Payment (assuming she is under 60).

As for the comments of others, just ignore them.
They will be upsetting, but you have to understand their underlying motivation.
If you do something, they won’t have to. They will all be wearing what we call “Teflon Raincoats” trying to let everything slip off their shoulders, so they can avoid their own precious lives being affected!!
Come back here whenever you want, you’ll get lots of support from me and many others.

I was widowed when I was 54, and then disabled in a car crash (not my fault) 3 months later, unable to walk properly for years.
Mum has to face her new life, work through the pain and grief herself, she can’t bury her head in the sand or use you as a substitute dad. You are young, bright, intelligent, if you have got to uni, don’t waste your life.

There is a lot of help available for mum. It’s HER decision what she does from now on.

It’s YOUR RIGHT to choose not to care. Don’t give up you studies.

Sorry, I forgot to address the “how will the care be paid for”.
After an assessment, Social Services will work out how much help mum needs, and how much she is able to contribute towards her care.
If she has over about £23,000 she will be expected to pay for all of it, less than that there is a sliding scale. Mum will always be left with a certain amount to live on, so do not worry about this, it will be taken care of properly without you.

It’s all just so scary for me and I cannot cope anymore. I find myself feeling like I have no parents left. I want to have a life, but I can’t be sat round till the day she dies waiting for her to want something. I’m so frightened I won’t ever have children, or a loving partner. I get people bullying me, swearing at me, calling me names saying I am selfish. I am already so scared about jobs after uni, and the long term affects of this pandemic. I don’t understand why I should have to pay for her too.

There are also days when I think she won’t last last long herself. She is morbidly obese, and already has diabetes and other health conditions.I know her risks of having a heart attack, or getting heart disease or cancer are pretty high. They are beginning to stack up. Her legs are starting to go too. She has no chance of ever losing any weight really. People have tried and failed all before. It’ll only happen again. I live in quite a deprived area of the country, so I’ve seen extreme obesity all before. The thing they all have in common is the fact that they all seem middle aged, as opposed to being older. I do worry about this, but at other times I don’t. It’s the trap of becoming a carer.

I never understood the pain young carers go through until now. I just think it’s cruel really. Parents shouldn’t expect their children to become their full time carer. As much as it is sad to say more people are living longer, but the treatment on health conditions hasn’t changed much. It then puts so much burden on people. Especially at a time when social care is in tatters. But taxes are already high enough. More and more people are falling into this trap.

If you answer all my questions, we can tell you how to sort things out so that you can have a life of your own.

Hey Coolcar98, obviously I don’t know your mum or her problems, but I’m sure she wouldn’t want you to miss out on your life completely. It’s not selfish to want your own life. A family member of mine had a situation where her mum was severely disabled and wanted her all the time but she was brain damaged and not sound of mind. My family member knew if she wasnt, she would never want her to give up her life for her, so she continued to study and then work, and eventually move out with her partner. It was hard but she was still able to visit her mum and have a relationship, but paid carers through social care did the majority of the ‘caring’ and thats exactly what they’re there for.

We CAN help you, but we need a bit more information first. What is wrong with mum? Is she physically or mentally ill.?

Hello, Coolcar. I am sorry to hear of your situation. It is bad enough that you are still grieving for the loss of your dad, as is your Mum of course, but now you are getting a lot of hassle when you just want to sort out Mum’s life and your own.

Who are these people that say you are being selfish? Relatives? Acquaintances (I’ll not call them friends)? Social workers?

A university life is three or more years of hard work with minimum income, at the end of which you will be able to make a much greater contribution to society. Without people bettering themselves and their potential by graduating, this country would not have benefited from the successful achievements and high standards it currently enjoys. This is hardly what I call a selfish attitude. Tell that to your critics. Ask them if they have been to university and what they offer to help your Mum.

Don’t worry about the job situation after the pandemic. The present lockdown is preventing many things from happening, and when it ends there will be much catching up to do. In any case, you will be a much stronger job seeker with a degree than without one.

No you don’t need to pay for Mum’s care. She pays from her own funds, or social services should help if she has insufficient.

Don’t speculate on how long Mum might live, or you will just bring more grief upon yourself. You need to tackle the situation you are in now.

Do make sure your mentor at university is aware of your situation. They may have ways to help you to bridge this difficult period in your life.

It could be in everyone’s best interest if Mum were to go into a care home, but we do not know for sure until we have heard a bit more about your case. If you can answer as many as you can of Bowlingbun’s questions we can help you with how to present your case to social services in order to get the care your Mum is entitled to.

And I have some questions, too.

  • Are you living with your Mum when you are not at university?
  • How far is the university from your home?
  • What portion of your studies are done by distant learning at present?

Please keep in touch with progress and best wishes!