Who is this booklet for?
This booklet is dedicated to children and young people who provide care to a family member or a friend who has a disability, a frailty, a chronic disease, an addiction or any other long-term care needs.
We call them young carers (under 18) and young adult carers (under 25).
The different faces of young carers
Caring can take different forms. Some will be caring for someone with a physical problem, some will be caring for someone with a mental problem. Some will be caring for a parent, some for their brother or sister, and some for a friend or another person that is close to them.
Young carers can help their loved person in different ways, by implementing practical tasks (e.g. cleaning, cooking, shopping, helping the person dress and undress, wash and use the bathroom, administering medicine, helping paying the bills) and/or providing emotional care (e.g. keeping an eye on the person, making company to this person).
Even those young carers who don’t care for may care about and constantly be worried about their loved person.
What can you expect from this booklet?
If you are a young carer, you might feel proud of what you do at home or you might feel angry, sad or frustrated. You may even feel all of these things at different times. You might feel that your friends or others don’t understand what you’re going through. Coping with your feelings on your own can be tough.
This booklet will help you to know how to take care of yourself, while caring for another person. It will give you useful tips on how to manage education with caring responsibilities, how to communicate with school, health and social professionals, as well as with your peers.
This booklet can help you to find a way to achieve your goals in life, without caring to become an obstacle in the way towards your dreams and ambitions.
If you are still not sure that you are a young carer, do not worry. This is more usual than you may think of. Many people do not see themselves as being young carers. They think of themselves as for example a family member, a brother, sister, daughter, son, granddaughter, grandson, friend or neighbour and can presume that all families, friends or neighbours provide this sort of support. This booklet can help you get more clarity about your role in your family, and/or among your friends. Read the stories of other young carers and see whether you can relate
A booklet for young carers by young carers
Although you might feel as if you are the only one in your situation, you might be interested to know that in all countries there are many other young carers dealing with situations that are similar to yours in some ways and different in other ways.
This booklet is based on the inputs of young carers or former young carers from different countries- in Europe and even in Australia! They share their stories and some tips, based on their experience.
Indeed, who is better placed to provide you with advices than somebody else who has lived/is living a similar experience?