Would be a relief when they pass

I’ve been caring for my mother almost 16 years now. Each year getting worse and worse, and harder and harder. This year I’ve reached breaking point and struggling to cope. I had to quit my job to take care of her full time, and I haven’t had a day away in years. I’m one of four children, me being the youngest, but it’s been left to me. Everyone else having moved 100’s or miles away and abroad, got their own families, their own lives. While my life is this and has been this for so long.
Just so tired. I feel like walking out the door and leaving everything and everyone behind, but I can’t.

So having said all that, I then think, when she does pass, I’ll be free. But then the guilt drops, how can I possibly think that!

Paul, it’s not just mum getting older, it’s you too.
Isn’t it time to have more help with the caring?

I’m sure almost all of us who care full time for a very sick person feel that way, at least some of the time, and the guilt goes with the territory. I set out to make mum’s last years the best they could be, never really thinking I’d end up caring for her full time. I still intend to make what time she has the best it can be, but it is extremely hard to give up my own life while I do it.

I could get care in - but having had two lots of reablement I’m not really happy to hand over physical care at this stage. Mum had water infections back to back when we had carers looking after her, and has not had a single one in the several months since I’ve been doing her care on my own.

There may come a time when I have to get care in (same for you), and I will do that when it’s really necessary, but in the meantime I have settled for having no life of my own. Mum is doing well cognitively at the moment and that makes it doable and worth it, because she really appreciates it.

I find what escape I can - I have a laptop downstairs and while mum watches her favourite shows I can escape into my own world whatsapping, playing an online game or posting on forums. I get out for an hour sometimes, when mum’s feeling well, but as any carer knows an hour is not enough to really feel refreshed.

Caring for mum has really opened my eyes to a whole world I knew nothing about - people like you (and now me) sacrificing everything to provide care. We know it’s not forever, and I sometimes sit and dream about what I’ll do when I’m “free” - then like you, I feel awful for the longing to be free as that comes at the cost of mum’s life.

Friends and family all said the usual things, I’ll come round, I’ll sit with your mum, just let me know how I can help - none of them revisited those offers! I know they don’t really want to do it, and were just being polite. I understand what you’re going through there. It helps me when I hear from others going through the same as me, I don’t feel so alone, and I hope you feel the same hearing from others here - keep posting and have a think about some of the suggestions people make - they’re not always the right ones for you but sometimes there’s something you hadn’t considered before.

Wishing you all the best, and just know you’re not alone!

Thank you for the responses. My mum passed away in hospital this morning. I’m thankful that I was able to give her so many good and happy years, and she never knew about the stress I was under towards the end. She didn’t have to suffer too long, and I was able to get there in time to say goodbye.

Sorry for your loss Paul. You obviously loved your Mother very much. Am pleased you were able to be with her at the end. Time to be kind to yourself now.

Paul, you have been a wonderful son, always feel proud of this.

For the next couple of weeks, until the funeral is over, do only what is absolutely necessary. It’s a time of huge adjustment.

This is a forum for former as well as current carers. If there is anything you are not sure about, just ask us.

Sorry to hear that Paul.

Take heart that she didn’t have a prolonged passing and that she has the best care you could give her.

Time to look after you now.


So sorry Paul, I’ve only just read that your mum passed away. Thinking of you x

Sorry for your loss Paul. X

Sorry for your loss, Paul.
I think Jean’s post should be framed and put at the top, but I don’t know how to do it! She sums it up so accurately and I’m relieved it’s not just me who feels that way.