As the cost of homes, cars, tuition, and groceries continue to grow, how do families afford to pay for the rising cost of Home Care? Many families who must go to work have turned to their younger relatives and children to act as caregivers for parents, grandparents, or siblings who have chronic medical conditions or functional disabilities. Unfortunately, this can come at the cost of their own needs. It can often have a detrimental impact on their school careers, and even their futures. Below, we will offer care and support resources for younger caregivers

Young Caregivers are not Alone

It is estimated that 5.4 million children under the age of 18 years old are providing care According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, compared to 1.3 million 20 years ago. Middle-schoolers and high school students are helping with feeding, dressing, cooking, and cleaning. Many of their relatives were in accidents, or have cancer, dementia, or debilitating diseases. Shorter hospital stays, an increase in chronic diseases, and the growing aging population are forcing families to turn to these children who often miss school, feel isolated and sad, and are extremely anxious about their future.

When parents work, they tend to turn to their children to help with their parents or disabled siblings. They may be in charge of preparing food, medications, and necessary items needed for their relatives who are unable to walk before they go to school and continue when they return with preparing dinner and medication management. This is a huge responsibility. Juggling school and a responsible home life can be overwhelming. When physical Therapy ends, they often have to take over with home exercises for their family member.

Helping Young Caregivers Grow

In Palm Beach, Florida overnight camps have been established to help give these kids a break from caregiving. They provide tutors and mentors plus activities for those who can’t leave their house by Zoom. They teach them to manage household skills such as bill paying, cooking, and doing laundry. The mentors will visit their homes to talk and watch TV. They will go out to the gym and socialize with other kids who are also caregivers. But a camp for those who are forced to help their loved ones struggle to survive is more of a band-aid solution to a growing need for proper care. One that doesn’t limit the growth and development of younger family members.

Developing Young Caregivers

In short, young caregivers are missing out on their childhood. They must be put into the same category as older adults who are caregivers. At SafeHarbor Healthcare, we understand that every caregiver needs to take care of themselves to take care of others. For these young caregivers, that means going to school, socializing, and having a good support system. Their mental and physical health cannot be ignored. While helping older or disabled family members can be important, it is vital that you give your loved ones the ability to grow and develop themselves. The social, mental, physical, and emotional damage that many young caregivers deal with as a result of taking care of family can often have lasting impacts on their futures.

Caregiving Resources

There is a growing need for caretakers for our elderly and disabled. Please use the resources in the Staten Island area (listed below) to help you explore resources for you and your family.

SafeHarbor HealthCare Services – Provides homecare services. Certified Home Health Aides, LPNs, and RNs to Staten Islanders of all ages. Family-owned and operated since 1967. Dedicated and professional staff will provide you and your loved one compassionate and caring service.

NY Connects – Information on government programs and other options for Staten Islanders.

Community Agency for Senior Citizens – Information and options for caregivers on Staten Island, including transportation, elder abuse, and fraud.

New York City Department for the Aging – Help center for seniors and their families. Provides information on senior centers, caregiver support, food assistance, cooling centers, and more.

Aging Connect Bill Payer Program – New York City program through NYC Dept. for the Aging. Provides help with paying bills and case management, if qualified.

Alzheimer’s Association of New York City – Offers many events, support groups, resources, research, and educational programs.

Catholic Charities of Staten Island – Virtual and in-person cultural programs, recreational activities, fresh hot meals, case management, and health services for seniors are all offered at their senior centers. They also serve the Developmental community on Staten Island.

The Jewish Community Center of Staten Island (JCC) – Besides Senior Centers on Staten Island, the JCC offers many community services. Virtual and in-person.

NYU Family Support Program – Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias. Helping caregivers with counseling support and education including respite.

Look To Safe Harbor For Caregivers

Safe Harbor Home Healthcare Services provides part- and full-time care for the elderly and disabled. We collaborate with family caregivers to provide the care that your loved one requires. Our team consists of Certified Home Health Aides, LPNs, and RNs so that we can offer the right care strategy for your loved one’s unique needs.

Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
The above resources are not sponsored by or sponsoring Safe Harbor Healthcare Services. Safe Harbor Healthcare Services takes no responsibility for the actions or views of these organizations. Listing their information here is not an endorsement of their services, but merely to spread information to those who may need their services.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has provided excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help older and disabled individuals live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us or call (718)-979-6900.