If you’re young and helping to look after someone you care about, you might qualify as a ‘young carer’. This means there is support available to help you. It might be hard to think of yourself as a ‘carer’ if you just see it as helping someone you love. But understanding the nature and the importance of your role will help both you and the person you care about to be happier and healthier. Take a look at the checklist below to see if you fit the bill as a young carer.
- Are you under 25?
- Do you have a family member or friend who has a physical or mental illness, disability or chronic condition, or who misuses substances or is frail?
- Do you help this person on a regular or ongoing basis? You might help with things like:
- chores around the house
- personal or nursing care – e.g. helping them take their medicine
- intimate care – e.g. helping them wash themselves
- looking after kids
- running the house – e.g. paying bills
- translating, if English is their second language.
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may be part of a community of around 272,000 young carers in Australia. Around one in ten carers in Australia are aged under 25.
What does this mean for me?
Caring for someone can be very rewarding, but it can also feel hard, lonely and overwhelming. The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. There are organisations across Australia able to support you.
Check out our articles on looking after someone you care about for info on the support available to young carers.
What can I do now?
- Read up on looking after yourself when caring for someone you love.
- Check out these help resources for young carers.
- Visit the Young Carers NSW forums and chat with other young carers.
- Read about the ups and downs of looking after someone you care about.