Tell Your Story
If you are a young carer and you are meeting people to discuss your role, I suggest you make some notes beforehand to take with you. When I met medical and social care professionals and described Mum’s care, I sometimes forgot some details that I wanted to say. To avoid this, I made notes before meeting people to ensure that I mentioned everything I wanted to. Having notes ready, and asking to read them out in a meeting, made it difficult for lazy adults to ignore the situation. It did not matter if the adult wanted to try to ignore the situation because I was ready to tell them the whole story.
Even if you do not plan to meet others, I believe you would benefit from completing notes suggested below. Many young carers are used to coping with their situation and do not realise all the difficulties they face. Therefore it would be a good idea to make notes regarding the topics below, which should help to make you fully appreciate the challenges you face and the sacrifices you make. You may decide to share the notes with other people or you may keep the details to yourself.
Your Statement of Praise to Yourself
In Chapter Five I mention a statement of praise that I say to myself regarding my time as a carer. I suggest you write a statement relevant to yourself and remember it when times are difficult.
Describe Your Situation
Below are some key questions about your role as a young carer. I suggest you write answers to each of these:
- Who do you care for?
- What caring tasks do you do?
- Do you feel you receive support as a young carer?
- Does being a young carer have a negative effect on your personal life?
- Does being a young carer have a negative effect on your school life and ability to do homework?
- Does being a young carer upset you, for example, make you unhappy, stressed or angry?
- Does being a young carer have a negative effect on other parts of your health?
- Do you want to continue being a young carer?
- If you do want continue as a young carer, what support would you like?
Your Normal Daily Life
At the start of Chapter Two – My Experiences of Being a Young Carer, I describe various aspects of my life as a young carer. You could use the description of my childhood as an example and then make some notes about your normal daily life under each of these headings:
- Supervising Medication
- Social Life
- Rule Setting
Your Experiences of Other People's Opinions
In Chapter Four – Lessons From My Experiences, I describe some of the comments that were made by other people, how those comments made me feel, and if the comments were useful. You might find it useful to make some notes that describe the following:
- Comments Made By Others
- How Their Comments Made You Feel
- Usefulness Of Their Comment
What Would Help You?
If you want to continue as a young carer, there may be help that others can provide that would improve your circumstances. You must remember that it’s not selfish to ask for help. Therefore you could list some things that would help you. These are entirely your choice, but examples could be time when someone else provided care so you could pursue hobbies, spend time with friends, study or simply have a break. It may be useful to make some notes describing:
- What I Would Like
- Why It Would Help Me As A Young Carer
As well as the suggestions above, you might want to make any other notes you feel would be useful.