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I'm a young carer and it's my entire life - Carers UK Forum

I'm a young carer and it's my entire life

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
It's not that I hate being a carer, it's more about the fact that I'm 23, have no friends, I'm depressed, I'm told that I'm a good carer and I do my best, but I have no life and can't see anything in the future where I'm not a carer, it'll never get better than this, before I was a carer I used to have more free time to go out and do things, I used to join courses, used to walk my dog, who has now sadly passed away, but I don't have anything postitive in my life, I don't want to be a carer forever, it's alright for the meantime though it feels like I'm always being pushed down upon and that there is nothing else for me to do, I think I'd prefer to be s part time carer, so at least then I can go and get things, but the truth of it is my mother and stepfather are always at work, which means that I always have to care for my sister, who has epilepsy. I don't feel like I'm living at all.
Tony, this is completely and absolutely unacceptable! Of course you can't be used like this for your mother and stepfather's convenience! Disgraceful.

Others here experienced with the welfare system can guide you through what support your sister should be getting from social services etc, because it is absolutely OUT of the question that you are being used in this way.

You're 23, you should be out having your own life, at college, at work, with mates, with girlfriends and, yes, with your own place to live.

So, for starters - what would you LIKE to do now at this point in your life? What are your educational qualifications, what line of work are you interested in, would you like to go off/back to college?

Don't think about your family, or your sister. Your mum/step dad are responsible for your sister (is he her stepdad too?), NOT YOU. You are not there to make THEIR life easier. Either one of them gives up work, or outside carers come in to do what you are doing, or your sister has to have residential care. NO other options (ie, YOU are not to be involved!)

Start an 'escape plan' straight away - eg, do you have mates who are living in a flat anyway with whom you could go and stay (even dossing on the floor if necessary) and then get a job - any job, doesn't matter, eg, working in a supermarket etc - it's simply to pay your rent/keep, while you plan your 'proper' future.

I'm sorry for your sister, but there it is. She is NOT your responsibility, she is your mum and stepdad's - THEY have to sort out her care.

Don't feel guilty or browbeaten - your mother should love YOU enough to want you to have your own life!!!! My son is a little older than you, and I would NEVER dream of using him in that way, and 'eating up his youth' for my own convenience. Disgraceful!

As far as I can see - apart from this being a grossly unfair situation - you've already taken the first, vital, step - you've acknowledged that your'e feeling deeply unhappy about this situation. And please trust me (I started caring for my mother aged 33 - and I am now 57) the feeling only gets worse, till like me, one day you finally realise you just can't do it anymore. There's nothing left to give and all that's left of you is the 'where did my life go'? question.

Please, I beg you - don't be like me. You can never get that life back. And its a life you most certainly deserve. Am presuming that your Mum & Stepdad are in the 'we have to work to support' mode? As Jenny has said, its deeply sad for your sister BUT this can't all be in your lap. It really can't.

Start by contacting social services in your area and getting a carer's assessment. TALK to as many people as you can to tell them how you feel. We are not the only ones who will be sympathetic and others can do more to help kickstart getting your life back on track my lovely. As Jenny has suggested - if there's anyone you could stay with - explore that possibility in case there's a kickback when you tell your mother etc that you don't want to shoulder this burden alone anymore.

Be prepared for a reaction. My mother is still kicking and screaming over me insisting I have carer help through the day and I'm NOT budging on it - I can't because after all the years caring I did I am burned out Tony, and its better for Mother that I am here with her, but letting someone else take the worst of the burden from me. Thus I have started my own little business online up so that I can start to earn some money of my own and I walk my dog for the first time in years (had to get a friend to before). Slowly - with my 60's looming, I am clawing back some 'me time'

Its not initially an easy path Tony, I can tell you - BUT reclaiming & re-balancing this caring role for the rest of your life and looking to a rosy future makes it all the worthwhile - so you go for it! :) X
Tony, I am absolutely appalled to read your post. Your sister is your parents responsibility, not yours. How dare they dump her on you so they can go to work.
Start by contacting Social Services and asking them for a Carers Assessment, face to face, away from your sister, in another place.
Hi Tony
You've had some good advice on this thread. I echo BBs comment, that you arrange your carers assessment outside of the family home.
Mine offered to meet me somewhere local, and I think this would be better for you so you can talk freely about how it affects you.
I have been carer for over 20yrs & am only very early 30s, so I do understand it's hard.
Good luck!
Hi Tony,
i'd just like to add I agree with everything other members have said, you have your own life, there's nothing wrong in seeing your sister and helping out now and again but it sounds like you need ask for support for your sister (if nobody else will).
My wife has severe epilepsy and requires full time care due to regular unpredictable seizures however with a care package in place i'm able to go to work and give me some time to myself, so this might be an idea for you? you need to contact your Adult Social Care dept of your council and ask for a care needs and carers assessment, if your sister is uncontrolled then they should offer some support.
Well Done for opening up on this forum about how you feel Tony.
Take Care