Taking on such responsibility when being can be difficult to adjust to and can often be overwhelming. For many it is all they know and it’s part of the normal day-to-day, but there are those who have to cope with being a young carer out of the blue when issues arise. Whether caring for a family member or a friend, both come with equal responsibilities and with the same feeling of doubt as to whether it’s enough.
Young carers are officially recognised when they are under the age of 18 and look after someone who is sick, disabled or suffers from mental health/addiction issues, whereas those between the ages of 18 & 25 are recognised as young adult carers.
Did You Know?
- 45% of young adult carers reported they have mental health problems.
- 56% of young adult carers in college or university struggle because of their caring role.
- 80% of young carers may not be receiving the help they need.
- Over one in ten young adult carers provide 50 or more hours of unpaid care a week.
What Young Carers Struggle With
Anxiety & Low Confidence – Anxiety is one of the most common feelings among young carers with difficult decisions needing to be made, you can become too worried about how other family members are coping, whether you’re dedicating enough time to care, how to balance school work alongside caring. Stress can build up and often leave you feeling low in confidence, which in turn affects what you do outside of caring, including education and any social time.
Isolation – It can often feel lonely when caring for somebody. Spending a lot of time caring makes it difficult to make room for a social life which is important, growing up too fast can have its downfalls. Many people of a similar age will find it hard to relate, leaving you feeling like you’re the only one going through this, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t the case.
Anger – Frustration can often set in, leading to anger and moments of “can i do this?” which affect your confidence. It’s understandable to feel frustrated and finding a way of releasing this is important, without affecting the ones you love and care for.
Support For Young Carers
Sometimes it can all become a little too much and you need to reach out for support. This can be through care assistance to help alleviate any pressures or stress you may be facing, finding an outlet to have time for yourself, or simply having someone to talk to.
There is nothing wrong with seeking support, in fact it’s encouraged, there are plenty of amazing support channels available to help young carers.
- Try to find respite care to help alleviate any pressures and stress. This also allows you to take some time for yourself. Elder can help find carers in your local area and provide additional support.
- Action for Children work with young carers across the UK and are able to provide support with school, care and help young carers transition to access adult care services when turning 18.
- Young carers can save with discounts on a variety of essentials, including shopping and more when signing up for free to join Discounts For Carers.
- Find support for your mental health with a number of coping mechanisms to help you in the day to day and long term.