CareNovate Magazine is excited to be joining Kelley Connors, MPH, Host of Real Women on Health and Connie Siskowski, PhD, President and Founder of the Amrerican Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) for an informative and compelling conversation to raise awareness around caregiving youth.
Who Are the Caregiving Youth?
Caregiving Youth are children and adolescents who are 18 years of age or younger and who provide major help and assistance, often on a regular basis, to relatives or household members who need help because of physical or mental illness, disability, frailty associated with aging, substance misuse, or other condition
When we think about caregivers, we think “older adults”, “family caregivers”, and “sandwich generation families”. But the fact remains, the responsibility of taking care of sick, wounded, older parents, grandparents are increasingly falling to youth, the care they provide often compromises their education and childhoods. Sometimes referred to as a “hidden population,” it is essential to address the specific mental, physical, and emotional health needs of caregiving youth.
Here are the facts & current statistics:
1. Children under the age of 18 Cares for a Parent or Grandparent
There are an estimated 1.3-1.4 million caregiving children ages 8-18 years old in the U.S. Of these, 38% provide care for a grandparent and 34% provide care for a parent – Young Caregivers in the U.S.; National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) & United Hospital Fund, 2005.
2. Caregiving Households Include Children Under 18 years of age
Nationally, there are an estimated 36.5 million caregiving households in which 37% of participants (13.5 million) also had children under the age of 18 years living at home – Caregiving in the U.S; NAC/AARP, 2009.
3 Children Live with Grandparents
The 2000 U.S. Census shows that 6.1 million children live in a home with a grandparent. Census, 2008.
4. Multi-Generational Homes Reveal Poverty
There are 51.4 million Americans living in mulit-generation households in 2009, an increase from 46.5 million in 2007. Fighting poverty in a tough economy. Pew Research Center, Sept. 30, 2011.
5. Children Become Responsible Well Before Childhood Ends
“Not every child gets 18 years of childhood. Some have to become responsible adults well before their bodies grow into maturity.” How to help youth caregivers: Children caring for sick relatives need some attention of their own. Ryan. Contemporary Pediatrics, March 1, 2008.
6. Children Fill a Growing Societal Gap
The main reason why children undertake inappropriate caring roles is a lack of adequate support services for their ill/disabled relatives. If appropriate and adequate support services are not provided, most of the care and support required falls to family members.” Statistical profiles of young carers. Centre for Child and Family Research. Evidence Issue 3; Aldridge & Becker, 2003.
Please contact via email Kelley Connors if you’re a social impact blogger who would like to help us raise awareness about this hidden epidemic, and we’ll bring you in to the show for our live conversation and share the embeddable radio player!