No matter how old you are, dealing with the illness or death of someone you love is one of the most challenging stressors you’ll face in your life. You may feel like it isn’t fair that you have to deal with these issues at this time, and that few people your age have to do so. But the truth is, there are millions of young adults who are struggling with family caregiving and bereavement, just as you may be. In fact, when we look at the age of family caregivers, we see that 25% of them are in the 18-34 year old age range (aarp.org). and many of these people started caregiving when they were children or adolescents. The fact that you may be caregiving or dealing with the death of a loved when you are just starting to establish yourself in college, a job/career, a relationship, or parenting makes it even more difficult. But there is hope.
As a young adult you may feel like you should be able to cope, but the truth is, most of us don’t have these skills until we have lived through the experiences. The good news is that we can develop resiliency skills at any age, and use these skills to cope with the challenges we are facing. We have provided information here for people who are dealing with these common problems: (1) physical illness of a loved one, (2) mental illness of a loved one, (3) death of a loved one, including suicide and violent death. We want you to have the information you need, and know that you are not alone. We care.
As a caregiver, it is important that you know how to manage the stress you are experiencing, and where to get assistance when you need it. There are a number of great "caregiver toolboxes" available on the internet. Here are three that we recommend:
You can also send your questions to us. We will read the questions we receive and respond on our FAQ page on a weekly basis. We want you to have the information you need to help you and your family.
Are you between the ages of 18 and 34? Do you have an interest in communicating with other young caregivers? Coming Soon: Youth Caregiver Facebook Page.