A study published in the American Journal of Public Health shows young adult caregivers make up 12% and 18% of the total number of adult caregivers. Over half are male, and the average age is 21. Most of them care for a female relative, most often a grandmother. The young caregivers have unmet needs like medical help, information, and assistance to make end-of-life decisions. On top of handling the challenge of giving care, many of the young adults enroll in a local college or university.
They face tough decisions; to stay put and be the primary caregiver, to move out on their own, to work one or two part-time jobs to help pay for tuition, and to focus on their interests. But caregiving gets in the way. They don’t dare move out and leave the other parent or grandparent to tend to all the care duties for fear that family member will get sick, and then the young adult has two people to help out. For them, independence is a pipe dream.
Even working family caregivers get caught in terrible dilemmas. I faced the challenge of helping my parents while working full-time. But at the time, I was fifty, not 18. For younger caregivers, they have a lot more challenges. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel shows how much further they have to go.
The rewards of giving care are what keeps the young person motivated. They know that one day this too shall pass and remain in school and to do the best they can. I have seen the scenario many times; the family caregiver becomes inspired by the experience and chooses a career in aging. That’s what happened to me and a lot of care providers in the elderly care industry today.
The company I work with commits a lot of time and energy to helping seniors and family members because growing older impacts everyone. Being a member of the American Society on Aging, I know the group encourages mentorship with college students and young professionals. It’s important that we support the younger generations to get involved in careers helping older adults since, over the next few decades, the 65+ population will explode in numbers.
That’s why SeniorCare.com created an annual college scholarship for caregivers enrolled in class work to study gerontology or another form of aging care to please apply. Whether you’re living with an aging loved one or managing their care from a distance, we know that caregiving is stressful and demands a lot of your time. But if you plan to spend a career in helping elders, SeniorCare.com wants to help you out by offering an annual college scholarship.
Apply now for the Aging Matters Scholarship. If you win, you’ll receive a $1500 allowance. The award applies to college students who either cares for an aging loved one or works within the senior community, or intends to pursue a career that will have an impact on the elder population.
Please click here for details and to apply.