Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Youth Caregiving Disabled and Older Adults (Video 3:13)

Did you know there are hundreds of thousands of children across America, some as young as eight years old, who are major caregivers on a daily basis? This is the reality of many school children, particularly in racial-ethnic minority communities and among low to mid-income families. The stress and responsibilities of caregiving adults are often recognized and discussed. But what about the lives of these children whose lives are impacted greatly with many of the same issues adult caregivers experience?

As a former school principal, it was not unusual for me to have students in elementary through high school grades with attendance problems due to caregiving responsibilities at homes when no one else was available to help. These children’s responsibilities included medicating, dressing, feeding, bathing, and more. The emotional stress of child caregivers can be even more harmful to them than the physical burdens. Unfortunately, as the economy struggles and the ranks of baby boomers expand, increasing numbers of children are being assigned caregiving responsibilities.

More people are recognizing this problem, and for some children, but not nearly enough, help is being provided. The American Association of Caregiving Youth 
provides resources and support to young people who are the primary caregivers of disabled or elderly relatives. Their mission is to increase awareness and provide support services for youth caregivers and their families by connecting them with healthcare, education and community resources. This CNN video features Connie Siskowski:

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog


  1. Youth can be a great support for old aged people. Most of the old aged people like to play with kids and hangout with there grand son and grand daughter. Youngsters also like to talk with there grand parents, it makes a pleasant and warm lovable environment.

    1. Youth volunteering is fine as long as it does not interfere with their education and personal development. Our school had a service learning theme. Every child in the school did service.