Some readers have gotten in touch in relation to the problem featured in this column in the edition of Irish Country Living dated 27 March: ‘I’m worn out from caring for my brother.’

They have some advice for our Connacht Reader, who wrote about the difficulties being experienced caring for a brother almost single-handedly during the pandemic.

Thank you very much to these readers for their letters, emails and therefore subsequent support for each other.

All the best,


Stick to your guns

Dear Miriam,

I read your column with interest every week. I feel on this occasion I can give some advice to the lady who wrote: ‘I’m worn out form caring for my brother.’

My family are in a similar situation, but caring for my mother. We have a seven day rota where everyone helps out.

We have been doing this for some time, including before my mother was vaccinated. We all wear masks in her company and take precautions to stop any spread of infection.

This lady must act now, otherwise she will become exhausted, frustrated and bitter.

She should call a meeting online of all her siblings, including her unwell brother, and in a calm way inform her siblings that she can now commit to only one day a week.

Then she should set out a rota, with the help of another sibling if necessary. Let the siblings choose the day that suits them best. If they need to change a day, they just simply ask somebody to swop days.

The next thing to do is have a private word with her unwell brother about his manner towards her. Let him know that it is very important to get Home Help sorted now as his health may deteriorate in the future.

We have a WhatsApp group to communicate. It works very well.

COVID has its advantages, in that there are no weddings, no parties, no holidays and therefore, no excuses.

Lastly, I would advise this woman to stick to her guns and don’t feel guilty. She has done great work already.

Best of luck,

A Munster Reader

Look for outside help

Dear Miriam,

In relation to the letter in Irish Country Living in the edition of 27 March, this lady should contact the public health nurse through her brother’s GP. They can give advice and help in organising Home Help or whether or not he may be entitled to a Home Care Package depending on his care needs.

Many of the local day care centres are now delivering dinners to people during the COVID lockdown. This lady should contact Family Carers Ireland in her local area for advice and support. They offer home respite hours also, which would reduce this lady’s workload.

No one should have to care alone, as her own health will suffer because of her caring role. This is a big problem for family carers.

Wishing this lady the best of luck,


Read more

Dear Miriam: ‘I’m worn out from caring for my brother’

Dear Miriam: ‘I’m out of work and it’s getting me down’