Being a young carer can be difficult, as you have to balance a great deal of things together at once. You may be worried about the health of the person you care for, juggling finances, as well as exams, work, and many other things. It can often feel as though you have no time for yourself, which can cause feelings of loneliness or isolation. No matter who you look after, whether it is a parent, a sibling or anyone else, there is help available to make things a lot easier for you, while still providing the necessary support.
Remember that you can always ask for help, even though it may sound like a daunting prospect now – it does not make you a bad person to admit that you’re struggling, and you can sometimes say ‘no’. It can be helpful to talk to someone, whether it is a family member, friend or anyone else you feel comfortable around. There are also plenty of online helplines that you can refer to, particularly www.youngcarers.net which may be able to give you some extra information.
Sometimes it’s important to give time to yourself, even if it’s just an hour or so spent watching TV. Try not to feel guilty for this, as everyone needs a break from time to time – you may want to catch up with your friends, or do anything else that you enjoy.
You are not alone. There are things you can do to make caring for someone a lot easier, and to make the experience feel less stressful, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
If you have a specific question you want answering, or a topic that you would like advice on, then don’t hesitate to contact B**P at firstname.lastname@example.org– you can remain anonymous or we can publish your name, just let us know what you would prefer.