Need some advice please

Hello. My name is Lisa, I’m 49 years old, work a full time job and also live with and care for my 82 year old mother. She has various health issues and relies on me for pretty much everything, although she can at present deal with her own personal needs. I’m finding things increasingly difficult. I have 2 siblings, both older who pretty much have no real interest in her care even though they live very close. My daughter does help me but I’m reluctant to ask too much of her as she has her own life to lead and is only 25.

Looking after my mother and being unable to leave her as she is unable to live alone due to mobility problems caused issues with my marriage which eventually ended in divorce, and another long term relationship also ended as I could not commit to him and I basically was left in a position where I had to choose between him and my mother. What could I do?? So he left and shattered my life into a million pieces. I’m now left alone, depressed and caring for her. I love my mother but we were never close. I don’t really know what I’m asking for here, I’m just so very unhappy and feel a lonliness that almost feels like grief at times.

Hi Lisa,
welcome to the forum.
You do sound unhappy and its not really surprising, given the situation.
Unfortunately a lot of carers care for a family member with very little help/no help from other family members; so getting more help from your siblings is probably unlikely.

What sort of care do you give your Mum? You say she is able to meet her own care needs; does she need support to go out? Can she still prepare meals? Does she seek to spend a lot of time in your company?

Just like you have said your daughter deserves to lead her own life, so do you. That doesn’t mean you need to abandon her but consider what tasks you are/aren’t prepared to do.

Do you live in your house or your Mum’s house?

Would your Mum be better off in warden control flats or similiar? You’d still be able to visit her etc but have more independence? There has been several discussions on the forum recently about Homeshare, not something I have experience of, may be worth looking at.

Those are my thoughts for now, others will be along I’m sure.


Hi Melly

Thank you so much for your reply.

She can’t really prepare her own meals anymore due to arthritis and she can’t leave the house unaided for the same reason.

Me and my now ex husband moved in with her several years ago when she was diagnosed with menieres disease and had severe issues with her balance. It lead to the breakdown of my marriage. It is a council rented property so on top of everything else, if something happens to my mother I am rendered homeless. I’ve discussed this with my sister as I fear I would be unable to afford a private rent alone but still no real concern from her. My mother would not move from her home, she has already told me that.

She manages alone whilst I am at work but only barely. I’m truly at my witts end. I feel like walking away from it all and I feel so guilty for feeling that way as it’s not her fault she needs my help.

Have you ever considered a possible move to an extra care scheme (TOGETHER). The age usually states for the youngest applicant around 52/55. However, its know in certain circumstances to be lower. Depending on circumstances. Have a look around you local area. These types of schemes are being built all over the country. If you were unable to inherit the current tenancy. You would be able to start the new one in your joint names. This would also give you peace of mind. You need to get you own house in order - so to speak. I think you would find future security and most importantly certainty.

Hi Lisa,

I really sympathise. I still care for my 90 year old mother with dementia but now I’m retired. I started to care for her and my step father at that time when I was working full time. I look back now and realise it was impossible trying to do both. I eventually got I’ll and retired on I’ll health grounds. It is still very difficult now. My family help but it is ultimately my responsibility as she is my mother. I can certainly understand that it can strain a marriage. It is very isolating and sometimes pretty grim. What it would advise is to do something for yourself each week. Take a class in something enjoyable for you. That really helps me. Please also reconsider what you can do whilst working full time. Please be quite realistic with your mother and do not leave the housing situation too long, The extra care idea sounds really good. Elderly people can be very selfish. You will not be able to look after her unless you look after yourself first. Many blessings.

Hi Lisa,
definitely need to address your own long term housing solution; some good advice has been given re this.

In the meantime, preparing meals for your Mum and accompanying her on outings, need not be done solely by you. If you refer her for a Needs Assessment, Needs assessment | Carers UK she could have some of these needs met by care workers. This would take some of the pressure of you, and give you a bit more freedom. There might be luncheon clubs in the area for the elderly - they often have volunteers to transport the diners there and back. Also, you are entitled to a Carers Assessment, which might mean a little extra support for you Carer's assessment | Carers UK.


Hi Lisa, I care for my elderly mother who lives nearby. You say your mum has mobility problems, have you considered ‘Dial a Ride?’. ‘Dial a Ride’ is free and offers two trips per week to Day Care Centres/Lunch clubs or the local supermarket or to visit nearby friends. It might be worth looking into because it is something your mum could do independently. The Dial a ride driver would collect her from home and help her get in and out of the van. The van has a ramp and is specially designed for people with disabilities. To become a member of Dial a Ride you just complete the form online.

Hey Lisa

No wonder you are at the end of your tether.

It is not your Mum’s fault she is ill, but it is not your’s either. You say your daughter deserves a life, but don’t you think you do too? Please don’t feel guilty about wanting to walk away. I think most people would. You sisters don’t want to put in the level of care you do, so why should you?

Please dont think I am suggesting that you give up on your Mum, but could you afford to move into your own place and get care in for her? You become a manager of her care rather than the directly providing care for her? Someone else has mentioned getting a needs assessment done for your Mum and I think that is an excellent idea, regardless as it really sounds as though you need extra help. It is really hard for one person to do it all. You will end up breaking yourself which helps nobody.

Please, please please sort out your housing situation, as it would be awful for you to be left homeless.

Take care xx

Firstly, accept that mother is very self focussed now, a common trait for the “very elderly”, part of the ageing process. She just doesn’t see how much work she is making for you. Nothing will change unless you make it change. She will object, because change for the elderly is another thing they don’t like, but things MUST change.
Mum’s financial situation will affect the options. Does she have over £23,000 in savings?
Is she aware that she was the cause of your relationship breakdown?
When did you last have a holiday?
Has she ever had a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and you, a Carers Assessment?

Thank you all for your replies, I really do appreciate it.

I’m unfortunately not in a financial position to move out and I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay for care for her. I’ve often mentioned about her trying to get out socially but unless I take her she just isn’t interested. I think she knows that my marriage broke down, in part, due to our living with her but obviously she’s not totally to blame. My relationship that I had after my divorce is the one that I miss the most. He had spent 2 years looking after his mother before her passing and I thought he would have understood my situation but he, just like my siblings, couldn’t understand how much pressure I was under so he walked away and I really don’t blame him. If I could walk away from me then I would.

I was not for one minute suggesting you should pay for her care. If she has under £23,000 in savings, Social Services would pay for the care, the exact amount dependent on her income, that is why I asked about her savings. Is she claiming Attendance Allowance?
Social Services are supposed to support Carers to continue working, hence my suggestion of a Carers Assessment.

Extra care scheme are social housing costs. Plus service charges. You would get some kind of financial assistance.

It’s not all older people that live in these buildings. Some are new builds where some people have brought shared leases etc.