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Young caregivers

A girl and her grandmother.Do you take care of someone in your family? Maybe you watch your brothers or sisters so your parents can work. Or maybe you take care of a family member with an illness or disability. If so, you sometimes may feel sad, worried, annoyed, or overwhelmed.

Remember, if you are taking care of someone, you need to take care of yourself, too.

Who can help?

If you're taking care of a family member, it's important to get help. That might mean getting help handling tasks or getting emotional support.

One girl's thoughts

"My mom's disability has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. Hardships have the potential to either pull you down or raise you up. The choice is your own. I am doing my best to rise up."
–Amanda, Pennsylvania

Think of people you trust. You might go to a school nurse or counselor or an adult relative. Your teacher also may be able to help, especially if you need more time to get your homework done or other kinds of school support.

You can learn more from organizations for caregivers. These include American Association of Caregiving Youth and Family Caregiver Alliance.

You might also look for local support groups and services. Sometimes organizations based on specific illnesses have local groups for people with that condition and their families. You can ask your doctor or school nurse about these. Also, and Easter Seals are great resources for people with disabilities.

Online support groups or blogs can help. Just follow online safety tips to avoid possible problems like theft or scams.

You and your family can look at the Eldercare Locator if you need help for a grandparent or other older person.

Ways to care for yourself when caring for others

You can't help someone else if you get too worn out. Try these tips to feel better:

  • Talk to a trusted adult, like your school counselor.
  • Write in a journal or create art about how you're feeling.
  • Make some time each day for fun.
  • Keep in mind that it's OK to say no sometimes, and it's OK to want things for yourself.


Content last reviewed September 16, 2015
Page last updated November 09, 2015