How Educators Can Support Young Caregivers

As the population of young caregivers continues to grow, so does the need for those who work closely with young people to not only increase their awareness of young caregivers, but to also understand how to support them. While many of our resources here at Caregiver Collaborative have been aimed at supporting caregivers themselves, I think it’s just as important for us to provide resources that caregivers and their families can

Power of Connection for Caregivers

Studies show that 40% – 70% of all caregivers report feelings of anxiety and depression, which can often be associated with the many feelings of isolation and loneliness many caregivers feel. Feelings of isolation and loneliness can be caused for a variety of other reasons too – including the need to provide literal 24 hours support, or the lack of connection to folks who understand your experience.

As a young person and as a caregiver, there is – in my opinion – simply nothing more important than finding people with whom you can connect and share experiences. To have others in a similar situation look you in the eye after you share something really tough and say “I get that, I’ve been there too” is one of the most impactful experiences of my life.

Let Kids Be Kids: How Parents with Disabilities Can Avoid Parentification of Their Kids

I’ll admit that I sometimes wonder if it’s possible in the United States for parents with disabilities, chronic illness, or other challenges to completely avoid parentification of children living in their house. Even if you can afford paid caregivers or other luxuries that may make it easier for families to not engage their kids in things like bathing or toileting, the reality is that circumstances often require kids to grow up more quickly than their peers. That said, there are a few things that families in these situations can do to avoid, or at least minimize, parentification of kids.

The Parentified Child, It’s Impact on Adulthood, and How to Overcome It

The fact is that having young people play a major role in providing care for a parent is controversial. Some folks see the sacrifice and find hope in a younger generation who is selflessly giving for their loved ones. And it is true that some caregivers find their role rewarding. But the flip side of this includes experiences from young caregivers including an increased risk of negative health outcomes, including depression and anxiety, stress, and increased feelings of isolation. More than half of caregivers report a decline in their health, which in turn compromises their ability to provide care.

When I hear from adults who are concerned about the impact that young caregiving can have on young people, I often think of the term “parentification” – or “parent-child”. Learn more about what parentification is, how it impacts us as adults, and how we overcome it.

Navigating Complex Family Dynamics

Family dynamics can be challenging to navigate. Add in a pandemic and all of the stress we have been under for the past few years and overwhelming doesn’t begin to cover it. Now top it off with being a caregiver and it can feel next to impossible to navigate the dynamics. Know you are not alone if the idea of spending time with your family causes a spike in anxiety or stress. We are here to help.

The Impact of Caregiving on Adult Students + 5 Tips for Navigating College as a Caregiver

It’s that time of year again! Back to school is upon us. For 5 million adult student caregivers (who represent roughly eleven percent of adult caregivers), heading back to school can be an anxiety producing experience. For adult children who are getting ready to attend colleges, universities, and trade schools across the country, they face unique challenges. Learn more about these challenges, and 5 tips for navigating college as a caregiver.