Home > Who Cares > Concerns of Young Carers

Concerns of Young Carers

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 26 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Young Carers Concerns Identify Stress

Young carers shoulder a lot of responsibility at relatively young ages, but often they do so without anyone outside of their families really knowing what they have taken on. It is important that to help young carers they be identified, concerns about their new lifestyle be acknowledged, their stresses be explored and support be offered to help them with all aspects of their lives.

Identifying Young Carers

Young carers are not a well-defined group, and in fact the only real commonality between them all is that they are under the age of 18 and look after a family member who suffers from physical or mental ill health. The care such a young person provides can be almost anything, from household chores to personal care, medical care to translation or interpretation services. Often young carers live in the same household as the relative for whom they care, such as the case of a child caring for a parent or a teen caring for a sibling, though they could live in separate dwellings but provide care for close relatives such as grandparents, aunts or uncles.

Concerns for Young Carers

There are many concerns for young carers who may not live balanced lives as a result of their caring activities. Many adults worry that young carers:
  • Assume inappropriate responsibilities for their ages.
  • Take on too many responsibilities with little support.
  • Lose out on childhood or teenage years by assuming the responsibilities of an adult.
  • Become awkward or inexperienced socialising with others their own ages.
  • Suffer at school due to lack of concentration, energy or enthusiasm.
  • Find their hopes for the future curtailed due to feeling responsible for others’ care.
  • Shun hobbies, sports or other leisure activities as frivolous or unnecessary.
  • Suffer physically, mentally or emotionally from added responsibilities.

Stresses of Young Carers

Many young carers also find that they have stresses and concerns associated with their new roles, though some may be unwilling to acknowledge them for fear that they are viewed as weak, unable to cope or even somehow disrespectful to the loved one for whom they are caring. Many young carers may worry about their loved ones, their schoolwork, their friends and romantic relationships and needing assistance with any aspect of their lives. Some may even worry that by disclosing their caring activities or status as a carer that their lives will be adversely impacted and so choose to remain quiet about assistance they may need.

Support for Young Carers

Young carers may find a great deal of acceptance and support from other young carers, such as through a local council support group or a wider Young Carers Project. Such young people may also find that teachers, home link workers, friends, medical professionals including a school nurse, and other relatives can all provide support and help access greater assistance as needed. Family friends, parents of their own friends, members of the clergy, coaches and other trusted adults may also be able to provide support for young carers who need it.

Young carers take on responsibilities that many of their contemporaries never need worry about. Identifying young carers, exploring typical concerns for this group, acknowledging the stress of these young people and find out more about support for young carers can all help them achieve a more balanced, healthy lifestyle.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Macca
    Re: Carer's Allowance
    I'm a full time carer for my granddaughter, I live with my partner who works 3 day wk, I'm in need of dental treatment which he refuses to help…
    19 August 2019
  • Ruffuss
    Re: Health Benefits For Carer's
    I’m a career and receive £66 a week in the north west do I qualify for dental treatment Kind regards Ruth McNally
    17 August 2019
  • Gill
    Re: Could I be Exempt from Paying Car Tax?
    My mother is 82 year old and I am her carer and she gets full aa can I get help with my road tax as I take her to…
    3 November 2018
  • TheCarer
    Re: How Do I Become a Carer For My Elderly Neighbour?
    Nickyd - Your Question:Hi I have just recently started to care for an elderly neighbour the social…
    7 September 2018
  • Nickyd
    Re: How Do I Become a Carer For My Elderly Neighbour?
    Hi I have just recently started to care for an elderly neighbour the social services has come out and…
    5 September 2018
  • kat
    Re: I Have a Carer: A Case Study
    I have an elderly neighbour who is partially blind and she has asked me to become her carer? I'm not sure how that works ? or how…
    24 August 2018
  • TheCarer
    Re: Carer's Allowance
    Emmapage123 - Your Question:I get carers allowance for my partner can I get free dental treatment?Our
    7 August 2018
  • Emmapage123
    Re: Carer's Allowance
    I get carers allowance for my partner can I get free dental treatment?
    5 August 2018
  • TheCarer
    Re: What Does Being A Carer Involve?
    Kimmy - Your Question:Hi I work 35 hours a week as well as look after my husband who has asbestos related disease COPD and…
    31 July 2018
  • Kimmy
    Re: What Does Being A Carer Involve?
    Hi I work 35 hours a week as well as look after my husband who has asbestos related disease COPD and heart failure as well as…
    30 July 2018