Kids Help, Too: How to Support Young Caregivers
Contributed by Michelle Hassler
When discussing options for family caregivers, spouses and adult children often come to mind. However, the stresses of caregiving extend beyond more traditional caregivers. In fact, many children take on the responsibility of caregiving in the home with statistics that are staggering. Currently, well over a million children in the U.S. meet the criteria of being a caregiver. According to a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics, “1.3 million children spend their time caring for a family member who suffers from a physical or mental illness or substance abuse.” The study also concludes that “on average, children caregivers spend about 2.5 hours per weekday and 4 hours on weekend days caring for their loved ones.” When you think about it, that is a lot of time – especially for a child or teenager.