Recently discovering an organization like the American Association of Caregiving Youth and pledging to support it (see here) has opened up some interesting doors. First, I learned about a website called Caregiving.com when someone on my Broad Universe list who is a member there posted about her reading the book Bad Apple (http://www.caregiving.com/2012/10my-next-leisure-read/). That website, which is a wonderful resource and online community for caregivers (those who care for loved ones), has a podcast called Your Caregiving Journey, onto which I was invited to talk about my experiences as a youth caregiver.
Interestingly enough, discussing some of these issues on the air has not only allowed me to really think about how I have learned from my youth caregiving experiences (and how they have affected me as a person and as a writer), but has also allowed me to come to grips with the fact that there are so many youth and adults out there today putting their lives on hold for others. That there are, essentially, still people in the world out there now doing what I was then. And I think that’s one of the most difficult things to overcome about being a caregiver, whether you are doing it as a youth or as an adult: it can be isolating. Websites/Online Communities like Caregiving.com and podcasts like Your Caregiving Journey help to decrease that sense of isolation and create an environment in which caregivers can share their sorrows—and their joys. While I am hopeful that I will never be in that situation again as an adult, I am very grateful to know that in case I ever am, there are places to go for support.
If you know someone who is a caregiver as a youth or adult, help guide them to some of these great resources. Or reach out. You might just change the course of a life.
Below are some resource links, followed by the two episodes of Your Caregiving Journey on which I’ve appeared so far. I will be appearing on Your Caregiving Journey again on December 10 to talk about Identity and Choice.
Caregiving.com is a community of family caregivers sharing their stories, support and solutions.
Your Caregiving Journey (Podcast)
Hosted by Denise Brown, the podcast of Caregiving.com which touches upon various caregiving-related issues—everything from managing your anger and Holiday stress to being productive, daily living and beyond. http://www.caregiving.com/articles/your-caregiving-journey-talk-show/
National Alliance for Caregiving
Family Caregiving 101
FamilyCaregiving101.org: If you’re caring for another person who is ill or disabled, this site is a place to find assistance and answers.
The American Association of Caregiving Youth
Interviews on Your Caregiving Journey
November 7, 2012: “The Story Always Gets Out”
November 7, 2012 (Podcast): “Helping Our Youngest Family Caregivers”
November 19, 2012: “What’s Your Choice?”
November 19, 2012 (Podcast): “Where’s the Choice?”