DEAR DEIDRE: MY dad calls me a lazy, work-shy failure – even though I’m his full-time carer.
He doesn’t appreciate what I do for him at all, and constantly nags me to get a proper job.
I’m 50 and he’s 78. We lost my mum a few years ago, and since then he has really declined.
He’s lonely and has severe arthritis, and I think he’s also beginning to get dementia.
Two years ago, I took voluntary redundancy to become his carer.
I do everything for him – the cooking, cleaning, gardening and shopping, as well as his personal care and admin.
I don’t get a minute for myself.
But he seems to think I should be out there looking for a job.
He believes care work is for women, not men.
When I tell him he won’t manage on his own, he says he will.
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I don’t need to work. I have lots of savings.
But being put down every day is really getting to me.
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DEIDRE SAYS: Being a full-time carer is very stressful, even without the added tension caused by your dad’s criticisms.
If you don’t want to get a job, then you must stand up to him.
Maybe he’s worried about the finances and you need to reassure him.
Perhaps you could consider part-time work, which would give you some respite from each other.
For support, contact Carers UK (carersuk.org, 0808 808 7777) and see my support pack Help For Carers.