Scared, Struggling and Exhausted

Hi there,

I’m 27 and have just become my mum’s carer after having to remove my stepfather as her carer and from the house completely. He was a verbally abusive and neglectful alcoholic who wasn’t caring for my mum properly. Since stepping in, I can’t cope. The house is a hoarding issue. It’s full of things and is dirty. I’ve managed to clear and redecorate my mum’s room with help from neighbours but the rest of the house is getting on top of me. There are two rooms I can’t even step foot in.

I need to gather the rest of my stepfather’s belongings but I don’t have the energy. I’m not sleeping well (getting 3-5 hours a night) and I’m just depressed. The house is in a remote village with no public transport and I don’t drive. My mum is extremely difficult to get on with as she lies, never opens up and invalidates my feelings about almost everything. I’ve been trying to get support from my care assessment person and mum’s social worker but I’m just banging my head against a brick wall. I love my mum but I’m seriously scared for my mental health. Everything is overwhelming me and I don’t think I can do this.

For context, my mum has leg ulcers and can only move between the bed, the commode and her chair. She is housebound and has been for a few years. An external carer comes in once a day to get mum out of bed and to give her a wash but beyond that, everything else is on me. If it was just cooking and cleaning in a “normal” house, I could manage better but what with trying to declutter a three bedroom house on little sleep and support, I’m exhausted. I don’t like the person this situation is making me and I honestly don’t know what to do. Any advice would be appreciated.

What a mess!
I’m going to start by saying you do NOT have to be mum’s carer.
Where were you living before this all kicked off? Do you still have another home?

I’m completely against people your age sacrificing your own life and dreams for any parent, but especially a difficult ungrateful parent.
There have been a number of young people on the forum in similar situations, and I always urge them to fight for a life of their own. It sounds like no house is big enough for the two of you.
It would help if you could give us a bit more information about mum’s situation, to give best advice about the way forward.
How old is mum?
What is wrong with her?
Does she have over £23,000 in savings?
Own or rent her home?
Do you have any other family?
Is the GP or District Nurse aware of the condition of the house?

I’ll be back later today.


Thanks for the reply! I was living in London with my partner but was made redundant so at the moment, this is my only home.

My mum is 53, has no savings and is in a housing association property. I’m an only child and so is she - so it’s just the two of us.
She has leg ulcers and is morbidly obese which affects her mobility further. She is anxious, depressed and has agoraphobia. She’s suffered some trauma in her life which makes her self-centred and impenetrable. The district nurses come twice a week to redress her legs but she’s difficult and quite non compliant. The GP is useless but I am waiting to be reregistered so I can get some mental health support.

I don’t want to be her carer and I don’t want to be here but I just don’t know what my options are or what I can do.

Thank you again for your time.