Starting to really struggle...

Hi, I don’t really know why I’m writing this post. I just feel out of options, and don’t know where to turn.

I’m 27, I’ve been caring for my mum since I was about 17. I became a full time carer when I was about 20/21. My mum has Parkinson’s Disease, which has been slowly getting worse and worse. She struggles with mental health issues too, as well as incontinence issues occasionally. I feel guilty saying that I’m struggling, because I’d do anything for my mum, and I know she’d be really upset if she knew I felt this way.

I also have a part time job working from home to try and earn a bit of extra money for my savings, and I’ve found juggling these to be difficult.

I actually managed to find a partner last year, who has been really, really supportive, but I worry, as things get tougher and tougher at home, if that relationship can really last, because I know how frustrating it must be for them each time I have to cancel plans.

My dad used to live with us for a time, but he left months ago. Not that he was ever much help around the house or with my mum, but it was comforting to know someone was with my mum whenever I left the house. Now, I only leave the house once or twice a week, often less, to meet my partner, but it just doesn’t feel like enough, and when I do leave I’m worried about my mum on her own (I’ve set up Amazon Alexa devices for some piece of mind, but it’s not always enough).

And now, recently, my uncle, who is an alcoholic, had a fall down the stairs. He began having fits and was taken into hospital. He’s out of hospital now, and he’s going to be living with me and my mum from tomorrow (not sure how long this will be for). He’s struggling to walk properly and he’s having issues with confusion, which improved enough for the hospital to discharge him, so all the things I have to do for my mum - getting her tablets ready, helping her walk round the house, cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc. - I’m going to have to do for my uncle too.

I very rarely managed to see my partner before, and now, I just worry things are going to get even harder, and more of my time will be stuck in the house doing chores. I really need to catch up on work now that I’m behind on, but I’m really struggling. My mind is racing, I’ve embarrassingly spent the past hour just crying, and my breathing has been really heavy and difficult, which I’m assuming is just some sort of anxiety.

But yeah… Sorry for the long post. I don’t know what I’m even hoping to achieve from posting this. I just feel exhausted. I’d ask for advice, but I don’t see any way out of this situation, or any way of making it manageable. Sorry for sounding really depressing… I talk to my partner sometimes about how I feel, but I can’t tell them what I’m feeling all the time, because it’s not fair to put all that on them, and I’d worry they’d eventually begin to resent me.

So… um… yeah… I don’t know… thanks for reading, if you’ve read this far…


Jamie, why is uncle moving in with you???
This will be intolerable. Did the hospital assess your ability to care? He needs to go to wherever he was living before NOT WITH YOU!
Has anyone really talked to you about how you feel about caring for mum. It’s really sad she has this disease but she should not expect you to do things she cannot. You are her son, not her slave!
She needs to start having carers to help her, especially as her needs are ever increasing.

Thanks for taking time to reply.

My uncle lives alone, and was actually quite independent before his fall. The hospital thought he seemed well enough to go back to his house. But he’s struggling to walk round and his memory/confusion isn’t great, and he’s worried about living on his own while he’s like this.

I didn’t know what else to do but to let him stay with me and my mum, for what I hope will only be a short while.

No, the hospital didn’t really do anything to assess his situation at home. They asked if he was usually able to get around his house, and I said yes, because he was. I haven’t been able to visit him in hospital, so I didn’t quite realise how bad he seems to be now.

No, I haven’t really spoken to anyone about caring for my mum. This situation has just been how my life is for a long time now. I know she’d go along with anything to make things easier for me, no matter how much she’d hate it, but I know how much she’d struggle and hate living alone or having outside help, and I feel guilty about putting that on her.

Part of me knows I should be a little more selfish, but I don’t know how I could live with the guilt.

When was uncle discharged? He was entitled to 6 weeks FREE care to help him while getting better. Were you told. If he can’t cope at home, he needs more help AT HIS OWN HOME! Contact Social Services asap and explain that he must go back to his own place with more support, next week.

Again, thanks for the reply.

I had no idea about this care. It was never mentioned. He was discharged literally less than 24 hours ago, so it’s something I’ll definitely look into.

Thanks again

Ring the hospital, ask to speak to the CEO or whoever is in charge today. Complain about an UNSAFE DISCHARGE, they haven’t followed any of the rules. These are the exact words to use, hospitals can be fined for unsafe discharges. Then ring the ward he was on, make the same complaint, tell them uncle either needs readmitting until they have made PROPER arrangements, or the Rapid Response or Reablement Team arranged TODAY. Be very firm indeed!

Oh Jamie. I’m so sorry for you.
From what you’ve said it is obvious that things are getting too much for you. You’ve been caring for your mum for 10 years - that is truly amazing!
But now you must start looking after yourself. It is really important. It’s great that you’ve got some support from your partner but it sounds like you don’t get much time to be together. That’s not fair. Everyone needs time to do what they want to do. If you have time off caring - that’s not being selfish, it is recharging your batteries.
I agree with bowlingbun - ring the hospital and tell them you can’t look after your uncle.
As for your mum - you could try getting carers in each day to make life a lot easier for you.
Let us know how you get on.