Sandwich Caring for 3 people and exhausted!

Hi all, so this is my first post here. Nice to meet you all.

I am having a really hard time lately and I’m starting to feel quite overwhelmed/exhausted.

I’m a carer for my daughter (17) who has ASD, ADHD, Tourette’s, HEDS, a few others, and is a full time wheelchair user. That in itself can be pretty hectic a lot of the time. I’m also part time/supplementary carer for my parents who are usually able to mostly take care of each other but need a bit of familial support on the side.

5 weeks ago my dad (84) fell and broke his hip, and is still in hospital. Then 2 weeks ago my mum (70) fell and tore the ligaments in her knee. She’s already physically disabled due to polio as a child so this is quite debilitating for her. She also has cognitive damage which affects her memory and decision making.

For the last few weeks I have been going to my mum every day to help with personal care, housework and anything else. I’ve been taking her to visit dad every other day. She’s had 3 hospital appointments in 2 weeks as well. She’s not coping with dealing with SW for dad so she’s handed that off to me.
In the mean time my daughter is struggling with medication side effects, has had 2 periods of being awake for 72 hrs at a time where she is very high energy and anxiety and feels she can’t be alone. She goes to college 3 days a week which is an hour round trip to get her there, and has had multiple hospital appointments and her own contact with SW (which I need to deal with as she struggles in that kind of situation)

I’m not moaning exactly, there is no one else to help so it is what it is but… IM EXHAUSTED! Im stressed and overwhelmed. I’ve got the emotional well-being of 3 people on my shoulders as well as the physical care - and the load is starting to feel mighty heavy.

The worst part for me is that the day before my dad broke his hip I had a job interview and I got the job! It’s as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities - just relief work so only a few hours a week but I finally felt I was in a place where I could take on a little bit of work. Now all my paperwork is back and I will be expected to start soon and I just don’t think I have time/energy. I know it’s still a form of caring but I was looking forward to doing something for me, give me a few hours out the house each week and something that I get to be me, not mum or daughter.

Anyway I’m sorry for the essay!


Hi finix, welcome to the form. Sounds like you are in a right pickle. Many of us have or been in the same boat as you, what I would look at is what support you have in place for everyone, see if either other family members can help or you speak to social services or doctors and explain the situation. Someone else should help you with this as you got more than one venerable person to deal with. As regards your new job, well done in getting it but seriously think can you do it now due to change of the situation or not as the last thing you want is to end on a sad note than a happy one.
Take care.

Finix, it’s time to get tough and stick up for yourself. Your well being is every bit as important as everyone else’s.
My husband and I fell into same trap, at one stage all four parents living locally, and brain damaged son. Soon after his dad died, my husband had a massive heart attack and died at 58. You are NOT invincible.
However much your parents want you, your daughter has to take priority.
The council should be arranging transport for her to go to college, not you.
However much mum wants to see dad every day, you can’t do this.
Make it clear to dad’s hospital that he needs Reablement Care as mum can’t care for him, and neither can you. He can go to a rehabilitation hospital and should be entitled to 6 weeks free care on discharge.
When did mum and daughter have their last Social Services Needs Assessment, and you, your Carers Assessment? The should be updated to reflect the change in circumstances.
She can get a taxi, community transport or similar. The same for hospital appointments.
Have you started to make long term plans for your daughter yet?
Is mum claiming DLA and exemption from Council tax on the grounds of severe mental impairment?
Have you got Power of Attorney for both parents so you can manage their affairs if they can’t?

Hi Finix,

I’m not surprised you are exhausted, due to circumstances you now have a massive caring load, which comes after years of caring.

I agree with BB, your daughter needs transport to college - this would save you the time spent taking her and collecting her. The college should be able to either help her apply or give you information on how to apply.
Also your Dad definitely needs a rehab placement after discharge so that he can be cared for, given physio and got mobile again. Is your Mum getting support from anyone else other than you?

Community transport may be able to take your Mum to visit your Dad - worth a try.

I think the relief work would be good for you as it will be different and absorbing and give your brain a rest from thinking about your caring situation. Do they know about your caring situation?

If mum needs help with personal care, has she asked Social Services to arrange this for her? You are daughter, not slave and she should be concerned for your welfare. If she wants to see dad every day, then this too needs to be sorted. Can she take a taxi or community transport, or voluntary driver? Every other day?