Who is a young carer?
Today (16th March 2021) is young carers day. A young career is someone who is under the age of 18 and they look after someone who can’t look after themselves or needs help with daily activities.
What do young carer’s do?
Young carers take on a lot of work and sacrifice their lives to help others. They may do the cooking, housework, shopping, give physical and personal care and emotional support for someone. This is all done alongside school, extra curricular activities and friends.
Fact – 800,000 young carers are ages between 5-17 in the Uk.
Here are some ways to help out and get support!
Experiences of young carers
Young carers may not get enough sleep before going to school or on the weekend which makes it difficult for them. However, once they get to school, it can be a distraction for them and some rest bite to allow them to feel like any other child.
School can be a great support system for young carers as they can go to teachers if they need help and teachers can check up on them to check if they are coping. Usually, young carers have to go straight back home to go back to doing their responsibilities. This means that it makes it hard for them to meet up with friends, do homework and school activities.
Fact – 27% of young carers aged 11-15 miss school.
How can this affect young carers wellbeing?
Young carers can feel overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility that is put on them. They have to grow up faster than their peers and can feel sad as they have to see their loved one go through pain.
Young carers can feel pressured to make sure that they make it as easy as possible for the person they are looking after. This means that they can get down and upset when things may go wrong.
Another aspect is that young carers may feel like they are being left out from their friendship groups because they can’t always take part in activities with their friends. This can make young carers feel lonely and isolated at times.
Fact – 39% of young carers said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring responsibilities.
Some useful links
Fact – 1 in 3 young carers have a mental health struggle.
Overall, young carers have a lot more responsibility than any other child their age and they usually feel like they are misunderstood. Their childhood is different from the stereotype of what a childhood is like and it can be draining for them. This is because they have to manage their home life, school life and social life.