Dreaming about your future
You can make it!
As a young carer, you may feel you are carrying the world on your shoulders and consequently find it difficult to dream about the future. Yet, you have the right to pursue your goals in life and your caring responsibilities shouldn’t prevent you from achieving your dreams!
Read the stories of former young carers, who have been able to achieve their ambitions. Their personal journey can inspire you! If they managed to get their dreams become true, so can you!
My name is Jessica Lerner and I am a former young carer. I’m 29 years old and still a carer. I am a little sister to an older brother with cerebral palsy and epilepsy from birth. I am born in the northern part of Sweden and now I live in Stockholm, our capital city. In 2010 I attended the Linnaeus University in Kalmar, Sweden. I studied Human Resource management for 3 years. During my second...read more→
I let go the idea that I had to put my life on hold because of my caring responsibilities and I got my dream job!
Back when I was still a young carer I had lots of dreams about what I wished to become. Most of them were connected to working in/with the media. But in those times the only thing I could do is to admire others on television and radio and just dream that this could be me someday. My reality was pretty different. I knew that this was something that I will not achieve. Or so I...read more→
I don’t know how the future will be like but I know that I want my sister to be the most fulfilled possible
I don’t know how the future will be like but I know that I want my sister to be the most fulfilled possible. I’ll have to find the best balance between my own life and her’s but I am sure that it’s possible. We are slowly starting to speak about it with my family and luckily my parents have full ideas to offer my sister a bright future. When my parents will be gone, I...read more→
I had a difficult childhood, with my mum being severely mentally unwell and my dad killing himself when I was 12 years old. After Dad’s suicide, I was left to look after my mum without any help from relatives or healthcare professionals. I provided continual care throughout the remainder of my childhood, which was awful at times. Rather than choose to do this, I felt I had no other options. I was one of many...read more→
In some countries (e.g. UK), children and young people with caring responsibilities are specifically protected by law. They have specific rights as young carers (e.g. the right to receive an assessment of their needs and to receive support based on these needs).
Even if you live in a country where young carers are not recognized as a specific group, you are entitled to important human rights, as you are a child and a human being.
- You have the right to education
- You have the right to play and relax by doing things like sports, music and drama
- You have the right to a good enough standard of living. This means you should have food, clothes and a place to live
- You have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously
- You have a right to the best health possible and to medical care and to information that will help you to stay well
- You have the right to choose whether you want to be a carer and how much you want to be involved in the care
- You have the right to be informed and involved in decisions that affect you
- You have the right to reach your full potential and to thrive!
“To have the chance to stand up for what you want, you first need to know what you want!” (Amy, young adult carer from UK).
You have needs just like everyone else. You should not think that you have to sacrifice your needs because you are a young carer.
In your busy life as a young carer, have you ever stopped to think about your needs?
You might spend a lot of your time doing a range of caring tasks, such as feeding, washing or cleaning. It is likely that you will also offer emotional support such as love and reassurance.
Providing care might limit you from doing what you want and from achieving your potential. Therefore, you may be sacrificing your esteem and fulfilment needs.
It is time for you to think about your needs. This is not selfish and can be done whilst continuing to provide care for someone else.
1st step: identify what would make you feel happier
2nd step: Set personal goals or better set yourself small daily targets on the path to your big goal
3rd step: identify what help you need to achieve your goal
4th step: Ask for help
(This tip comes from Mike Raynor, former young carer, author of the website youngcarer.info, UK)
My message to my younger self would be: You are much stronger than you think you are. Believe in yourself, be proud of yourself, be thankful for everything that happens because everything truly happens for a reason. You have the right to dream and fulfill your dreams. Your experience makes you who you are; special, unique, a wonderful person that will grow out to be a magnificent individual. Keep on shining. Everything starts with you.
This tip comes form by Sandi Horvat, journalist, TV and radio host, Slovenia