There are many household in Adelaide, South Australia with young carers. They are individuals under the age of 18 years taking care of a family member, relative or friend. A young carer usually has a dependent suffering from mental illness, a disability, terminal disease or any other health condition that makes them unable to manage day-to-day activities.
Often young carers in Australia don’t even know they are carers because from an early age they become habitual of taking care of the dependent and consider it their duty to look after them. In the process, most young carers sacrifice a lot in their life and the added responsibilities also hampers with their growth. Therefore, our Young Carer Support Program is useful and necessary for many children and teenagers struggling to lead a normal and healthy life. With our help, they can study and create a better future for themselveswithout worrying abouttheir responsibilities.
How Many Young Carers Are There?
It is estimated that there are over 235,000 young carers in Australia and these are people under the age of 25 years. They provide unpaid care and support to a dependant. Most young carers take care of a family member like parent, sibling, grandparent etc. They are usually conditioned to think of caring as a positive experience, several researches suggest the contrary. Young carers can feel burdened, depressed and stress when they lack the mental, physical and emotional support.
Therefore, program like ours are necessary to protect and enable youngcarers in Adelaide and other parts of the country. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many young carers feel the need to escape their situation, which is why we are doing our best to help them weather this tough time.
Problems Young Carers FaceAs a young carer, children and teenagers experience a variety of challenges. They have to manage their studies along with carer responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, laundering, shopping, giving medication, managing expenses, taking care of pets, and much more. The need for multitasking takes a heavy toll on young carers and due to it they cannot live a normal healthy life. Their responsibilities leave them with little or no time for themselves. Thus, it is harder for young carers to develop friendships or meaningful relationships outside their homes.
It is common for young carers to isolate and become reclusive because they feel embarrassed about their situation at home. Most avoid inviting friends over and trusting peopleenough to tell them about their role as a young carer. Other issues many young carers face are listed as follows.
- A lack of understanding of their situation from peers and professionals because they don’t have the same experiences.
- Bullying at school or other places
- No emotional support because most young carer are hidden
- Mental and physical problems that stem from their responsibilities as a carer
- No access to a normal childhood experiences because young carers are forced to grow-up and act mature than their actual age
- A lack of confidence and social skills
- Limited social interaction with children or teens their age
- Constant feeling of stress, anxiety, isolation, loneliness and anger
- Feeling tired, irritated and cranky