WHAT IS YOUTH CAREGIVING LIKE?
This body map was created by six high-school aged caregiving youth who have been receiving support from the Caregiving Youth Project of Palm Beach County.
At a youth leadership retreat, caregiving youth were asked the question: "What is caregiving like to you?" and asked to write or draw on their own body map. The group then created a body map that represented shared experiences. Each caregivers' journey is unique, but the group had many experiences in common.
Caregiving can be stressful, as well as emotionally and physically draining. It can be hard to concentrate with so much on your mind. It can also be hard to find opportunities to feel like a kid and to just have fun.
It is not easy being a caregiver but we feel it is our obligation to help family members who are ill or disabled and need care.
Despite the difficulties, caregiving also opens you up and you can grow as a person. By drawing on internal strength and getting support from others, including peers and staff at the Caregiving Youth Project, we are finding ways to deal with the stresses we face. We think we will be better prepared for adulthood than other kids our age because we've already "had a taste of the lows" that life has to offer. We know how to take care of others and how to "make something out of nothing" when money is tight and times are tough.