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How did you become a young carer?

RileyRiley Moderator Posts: 939 Part of The Mix Family
Hey there everybody on the boards!

The Mix are starting a new project to help raise awareness of young carers. I know we have a few young carers on the boards so I'm sure you're all excited to see what we have planned and take part. Right now we're starting a series of discussions that anyone who is a young carer or knows someone who is a carer can get involved in, I'm actually a young(ish 😂) carer myself so that's why I've started this thread.

As is quite common for a lot of young carers the person I'm caring for is a family member, my mother to be exact, and I first got started caring for her when I was 19. I'd always looked after her somewhat when I was in my teens but nothing as official or full-on. I really started being a full-time carer for her when she had a serious back operation in 2012 and needed someone to look after her during the day. I wasn't working at the time and my sister was studying at university so it just made sense for that person to be me.

So that's my story, if you feel comfortable sharing your own story of how you became a young carer then feel free to do so below. Or if you know someone who's a young carer and you're happy sharing their story then we'd love to hear that too. Like I said we're really interested in raising awareness of young carers so now's a great time to be heard!



  • AbigailAbigail Carer/musician Posts: 704 Incredible Poster

    Oh wow @Riley I didn't know that. That's quite old to be noticed as a carer as the average is 14 to be noticed. 

    My story is one I've told a lot. I am a young adult carer who support her mum with her mental health as well as physical needs. Everyday is a mental battle to find new ways to motivate her. After being noticed after being a carer for 8 years i got noticed at 15 and put into the young carers system for 10 months as a volunteer not getting any support. Left after my 16th birthday I was away from all support and became isolated, I turned to The Mix for support and no one could help (they still can't). I kept pushing for years for a YC project and here we are 2 years later something being said. Recently I've sat assessments for to be noticed as a carer my the local council, hoping to receive more of a chance to get a break without worrying out things. Even though I am in education nothing is ever plain sailing. However playing a practical joke can cheer me up on a stressful day. Carers are human! We make mistakes and have off days mentally and physically carers are human not super human. 
    Some people think I am unhappy. I'm not. I just approach silence in the world that never stops talking.
  • Millie2787Millie2787 🐶 💜 Posts: 4,446 The Mix Elder
    Hi :)

    I'm one of the regulars who shoves the carers knowledge down your throats and creates the amazing articles alongside fellow carer @Abigail ;)

    Joking, Of course, time for me to be serious :)

    Soo Hiii, 
    My name is Aimee and I'm 17 I'm soon to be 18 #StillABaby (ohh i know exciting ill be entering the territory of Young adult adults and the transition group that exists in my local project)

     I started caring for my Nephew around about 7 years ago now when we moved out to where we currently are but have only been with my young cares project for 4 years.  I would often go down the stairs at night to say goodnight to Mum and dad and find mum breaking down in tears because of the stress of having to look after my nephew, so I started to take on simple roles such as giving him his medication and getting him ready for school. He Has varying SEND including, ADHD, Anxiety, Attachment Disorder and autism

    As I got older I took on more complicated roles such as having to place repeat medication orders and collect them for the whole family as well as have to go on restrain courses to learn how to properly handle  my nephew during one of his autistic Meltdowns, as at times these can get pretty intense and scary for everyone involved.and more recently I have started to provide emotional support for my mum.

    So yeah I guess whats my story in as about as short I can get it, I about can waffle on all-day About carers.

    Sometimes all you need is one person to believe in you , for you to begin to believe in yourself.
  • MaisyMaisy The Mix convert CymruModerator Posts: 396 Moderator
    edited October 2019
    I've always admired young carers as I know that while caring for a loved one can have some very loving moments, there are also many difficult moments too and I find the strength that young carers have to be very inspiring!

    I feel a bit of a fraud, if I'm honest. My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's back in 2008, when I was 15 years old. However, my mum was the main carer for my dad. I would help out with some things but the majority of the caring was done by my mum. I also have two younger brothers so sometimes I would do the school run when my mum was in work and my dad was unable to do that. We got referred to the Young Carers group in my local area around 2 years later. But I felt like I never really fit in there as everyone else was doing far more caring than I was. If anything, my mum deserved a medal for being able to care for my dad so well, while working and looking after me and my brothers! But I can see how beneficial it was to have a Young Carers group though. It really did provide a safe place to hang out, talk to others and take your mind off things. It was fun too like one time we had a graffiti artist come in and we did some graffitying and we also had a nice Christmas party too. I wasn't there long as I turned 18 not long after and for some reason never got transitioned to the young adult carers. My dad sadly passed away from Alzheimer's back in 2013. And though I feel I didn't do much 'caring'. I'm still interested in hearing about other Young Carers out there! 
    Post edited by Maisy on
  • Millie2787Millie2787 🐶 💜 Posts: 4,446 The Mix Elder
    Hey @Maisy,

    To start with please please please don’t feel like a fraud , for me not many people know this but until a few months ago my mum was my nephews main carer and I just helped alongside and that situation formed a lot of my care role for years until more recently. Whatever care role you did no matter how big or small Remember  you would of made a huge difference to your dad ❤️ I can guarantee everyone at the group you attended was more than likely comparing themselves to others situations I mean I know I do , majority of my caring is mental health and I often find myself a comparing myself to those who do physical caring.💕

    Sometimes all you need is one person to believe in you , for you to begin to believe in yourself.
  • Millie2787Millie2787 🐶 💜 Posts: 4,446 The Mix Elder
    Also @Maisy I forgot to add whoops ! 

    You will be suprised  if you look back how many things you did that you may not have classed as your care role. Emotional support is a really big one that so many of us do but don’t necessarily count as part of a care role as theres a lot of stereotypes around Young and young adult Carer’s just doing physical roles when attucally emotional care plays and massive part 💕

    Much Love

    Sometimes all you need is one person to believe in you , for you to begin to believe in yourself.
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