Dear Deidre: MY father and older brother depend on me for everything and it’s breaking me.

I am a man of 23 and spend the entire time running around after both of them.

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My dad is 56 and has a bad back and leg so he has mobility problems. My brother is 26 and has anxiety and depression.

Ever since the age of 12, I have been their carer, taking them to medical and dentist appointments, taking my brother to his counselling appointments, food shopping, clothes shopping and doing most of the housework.

Neither of them lift a finger. My brother won’t even lift his dirty plate from the dinner table.

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If I sit down for a moment they badger me for a cup of tea or snack until I cave in.

I feel like I am missing out on so much. I have no friends because I have to stay at home to look after my family. 

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DEIDRE SAYS: You are a young man and while it is admirable that you are helping your dad and brother so much, you need your own interests and regular respite.

You have clearly fallen through the cracks of the social care system and with the burden of responsibility on you, it’s no wonder you are depressed. 

I’m sending you my support pack Help For Carers which has plenty of sources of support.

Please also contact Carers UK (, helpline 0808 808 7777).

My dad and older b

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