Reluctant Carer


Dispatches from the Edge of Life

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‘Hilarious, bitter, poignant and profound, this is the human condition laid brilliantly bare, like an existential soap opera – only with more laughs.‘ – Philip Hoare, author of LeviathanIt was the kind of phone call we all dread. Your elderly father has been admitted to hospital. He’s not well and he needs your help. Your mum is about to be left at home alone. She needs you too. The answer? Simple. Drop everything. Go. Just be there. Just help. The reality? Not so straightforward. Suddenly, you’re a kid again, stranded in the overheated house you grew up in. They need you 24/7, that much is obvious. And you want to help, of course you do. But soon your life starts to unravel almost as quickly as their health.In between bouts of washing, feeding, cooking and fighting there are days that test you, days where everything goes wrong and days where everyone, miraculously rises to the occasion. And in between all of that, you learn how to care. But this time with feeling.Irresistibly funny, unflinching and deeply moving, this is a love letter to family and friends, to carers and to anyone who has ever packed a small bag intent on staying for just a few days. This is a true story of what it really means to be a carer, and of the ties that bind even tighter when you least expect it. This is The Reluctant Carer.]]>