I Have Been a Young Carer since the Age of around Ten
Hi I’m 18 and I’m a young carer. I have been a young carer since the age of around ten. I primarily care for my father, but I have supported my mother (who has suffered from cancer) as well. Fortunately, she is now well but I have had to care for my father since he suddenly lost his sight in 2010 due to severe diabetes.
He had to learn how to complete even the smallest of everyday tasks without his sight and the responsibility to assist him with this has rested on me. He has since gained a certain degree of independence, but continues to require help with everything from catching the bus to escorting him to medical appointments and doing housework.
The exhaustive nature of my caring role has directly lead to a major interruption in my academic life, which is something that has been of enormous value to me. It has meant that I have had to put my own life on hold, and that has been extremely hard to face.
But I think that facing adversity has meant that I have learnt to cope with complex challenges, and that will probably prove to be an important life skill.
My tips for other young carers are first and foremost; prioritize yourself and your own wellbeing. This might not come easily given the nature of treatment, and how being a young carer can often mean that you have had to adapt to often taking a back seat. However, I think that it is really important that you take time out of every day to relax and do something that helps you unwind and recharge in a positive way. I love literature and enjoy writing poetry and prose. I figure skate as well. I am an avid fan of The Beatles.
– young carer, age 18