Where The Needs Of Others Come First · Available 24x7 For Emergencies
While it is still a difficult task, we have generally grown accustomed to the fact of the “sandwich generation.” Adults who care for both their own children and their elderly parents are quite common across the country. But more often than most people realize, caregivers in Vista and other areas are not even adults—they’re children and teenagers who are still trying to make it through school.
In Palm Beach County, Florida, experts estimate that about 10,000 youths function as the primary caregivers for their parent or parents. These young people attend school while caring for parents or other relatives who are too elderly or ill to perform basic tasks on their own. While adult caregivers have it hard enough, imagine the pressure of studying and trying to keep grades high while having a demanding caregiving schedule at home as well.
Youth Caregivers in Vista: Help Is Out There
Fortunately, some health professionals have taken note of these dedicated, hardworking youths and are reaching out to support them. Connie Siskowski, the founder of the American Association of Caregiving Youth, cared for her own grandfather during her pre-teen years. This group helps young caregivers by relieving them with professional caregiving services, providing academic help, and educating them about the more difficult features of their responsibilities.
Encouragement is Critical
Why have these youngest caregivers in Vista, San Diego County, and the nation gained so little attention? In part, it is because parents and grandparents often are embarrassed or unwilling to admit to people outside the family that they need extensive help with daily life. These young heroes deserve and need all the support they can get from those around them. The American Association of Caregiving Youth has already seen the fruit of this support, in the form of high school graduates and well-equipped family caregivers. You can read more about this special group and make donations on their website, www.aacy.org.