You can’t pour from an empty cup by Mike O’ Brien

Written by Guest Writer

June 29, 2022

Some people in society are under the false impression that carers are just there to do things like shopping and providing cups of tea for their loved ones, but let’s take a look at the many different roles a full time carer can be required to perform each and every day. There’s things like chauffeur, therapist, receptionist, pharmacist, admin worker, providing nursing level care, providing end of life care, first aider, treating and cleaning wounds, helping with washing and dressing and other personal care, chef, cleaner, accountant, dealing with professional and government agencies, fighting our way past the gatekeepers, advocating for our loved ones and so much more that we do as carers in just one single day. So, the next time somebody says they are an unpaid carer don’t think they just do the shopping and make cups of tea, but remember all the other tasks they perform on a daily basis.

If you’re a professional and you’re reading this then please do not say things like “you’re coping so well”, “I don’t know how you do it”, “the house looks so clean” or “they look well fed and clothed”, but instead ask if there’s any way you can help. Unpaid carers are masters at hiding their true mental state and feelings because we do so everyday, so whilst things may look like we’re coping on the outside, on the inside we may well be at or near breaking point and in need of support.

Politicians and others call us unsung heroes or an army of carers and we may at times joke about donning our superhero capes, but the reality is we’re only human and just like any other person or even army we need support as well.

Carers World Live – Reporting on the issues faced by unpaid carers across the UK.


  1. Annie-Eloise Lambert

    A honest and unapologetic way of highlighting just some of the Myriad of roles undertaken carer’s. Paid, never enough. Or unpaid, shameful. Saving the government thousands upon thousands of pounds everyday. Who cares for the carers? No respite, no funding, shame on us, all.

    • Erika Petrie

      Thank you for your valued comment Annie. More needs to be done to recognise carers and their valuable role in society for sure!


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