Carer Support, Young Adult Carers

Support for Young Adult Carers

A young adult carer is someone between the age of 16 to 25, who supports their family members or friends with a certain disability, addiction, or mental and physical illness. 

As a young adult carer, this may require you to take extra jobs, and limit your needs to sustain those of your loved one. The overall lifestyle can also be physically demanding as you may need to move around a disabled person.

The Right Choice about Caring

If a member of your family requires assistance, you may feel compelled to assist them. However, this doesn't mean you need to look after someone in the same manner as an adult carer would. You shouldn't feel like you need to spend all your time supporting and taking care of your family members. This can prevent you from doing well in your studies, missing out on the same activities as your peers and impacting your own social life.

You must consider what kind of support you can offer, how much you’ll be able to provide or whether you are suitable to be taking care of another person. Based on their needs, the local government takes full responsibility for providing help to all disabled adults, so they don’t have to be dependent on younger family members to care for them. You don’t have to feel guilty for not being able to support your loved ones. Getting them professional care is the best thing you can do for them.

How Does Being a Young Adult Carer Impact Life?

It can affect a person’s health, self-confidence, and social life. Many struggle to juggle their education, work, and caring roles. Over 45% reported mental health problems. Research on young carers showed that their highest qualification were GCSEs. With 29% of young adult carers dropping out of college and/or university because of their caring duties. Carers.org stated that this figure is four times greater than the national average for degree courses.

What are Your Rights as a Young Adult Carer?

As a young adult, you must know your rights and opportunities. The Children’s Society’s website details the rights of young carers in the UK. 

If you or your parents request a young carer’s assessment, the local council sends a social worker to visit you and conduct an assessment that is different from the one given to adult carers. The final evaluation decides what kind of assistance is appropriate for your family. It further helps you determine whether it's suitable for you to care for someone else and whether you want to be a carer.

Your education, training, recreational activities, and future goals must all be considered by the social worker. The social worker must inquire about your wishes as part of the assessment as well and a documented record of the assessment should be provided to you and your parents. This will include whether or not the council believes you require assistance, whether or not their services can supply it, and whether or not they will provide it. 

young adult caring infographic

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