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Young carer

hi. my name is Danita. im a 14 year old girl. i live with my grandma amd i look after her because she has cancer. i spend all of my time keeping her company and doing things like washing up, tidying the house and making sure sge is okay. im finding it hard to deal with, so i often isolate myself from others. i cry about it alot. i am unsure of what to do.

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Sam

Hi there

Caring for someone else is a difficult job at any age, but for young people it can be especially hard. You might have to do more things around the house and take on new responsibilities - all this while trying to keep up with school and homework. It's important to make sure that you are taking care for yourself, as well as others.

There are a few things that as a young carer you might want to think about. First, take a moment and think about how you feel about the person you're caring for. Sometimes you might feel negative things towards them - maybe anger or resentment because they take up so much of your time. You might think or feel these things even though you love the person very much. It's okay to feel this way. Your love for that person shows in everything you do for them, and it's natural to feel frustrated sometimes.

Secondly, think about your time and how you spend it. There can be a lot of work for a young carer: cooking, cleaning or doing things your relative needs, like organising their medication or helping them bathe and dress themselves. If someone is disabled or ill there could be nurses and social workers who come to help, but they might not be there all the time. This can make it feel like you never have any time for yourself.

Planning your time is important because it means you can take breaks. You need to make sure you have time to relax and see your friends. Isolating yourself from people and crying are two signs that perhaps there isn't enough time to look after yourself.

You might feel stuck because you don't know if there is any help available. The Carers Trust have some great information in a leaflet that might help you. Once you know your rights and the help that's available, it can be easier to cope with your own feelings and day-to-day life.

Telling your school about what's happening is also a good idea - the more they know, the more they can help. If they know you're a young carer, they may be able to offer extra support with homework and coursework.

However you feel, you aren't alone. You can call Childline anytime to speak to a counselor about your options.

I hope this helps, thanks for writing to me.

Take care,

Sam

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