A 2005 study shed light on a often-ignored segment of the American population: children who are serving as caregivers to health-impaired or elderly family members. There are estimated to be more than 1.3 million children between 8 and 18 years old–representing 3.2 percent of households with children–whose own lives are affected by their caregiving responsibilities. These children often struggle with anxiety, depression, and poor self-image, sometimes demonstrating anti-social behavior and frequently facing challenges at school related to absence, lack of concentration, fatigue, and missed homework.
Dedicated to raising awareness about the multi-system needs of caregiving youth along with solutions for their support, the Caregiving Youth Institute was recently established by the American Association for Caregiving Youth (AACY). On April 23 in Boca Raton, FL, the Institute will host its first conference, and all are invited to attend. Click here for details.
Connie Siskowski, RN, PhD, the president and founder of the American Association of Caregiving Youth, says about the conference: “We are excited about this first Caregiving Youth Institute Conference! We have assembled speakers from the domains of healthcare, education and the community to share research findings, knowledge, and challenges as well as determining the best approaches and remedies to assist in the success of youthful caregivers.”
We’ll follow these developments with interest, as we, too, are concerned about the impact of caregiving on today’s children.