Young Caregivers – Charlotte Today – April 5, 2018

Young Caregivers – A Startling Amount of Kids are Taking Care of Adults

This may surprise you but about 1.4 million children between ages 8 and 18 are caregivers nationwide. Most often, the family member is a parent or grandparent, with a condition such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia; heart, lung or kidney disease; arthritis or diabetes. There are several reasons why we have so many young caregivers. In families with limited resources who are not eligible for or refuse home care, children become the default caregivers. The opioid crisis is another reason. The two biggest groups impacted are boomers and millennials. Researcher has shown that individuals born between 1947–1964 and between 1979–1992 are particularly afflicted. Boomer overdose deaths are 25 percent higher than others and Millennials 20 percent higher. While hospitalization rates among the elderly have declined, they have remained steady for other age groups. In fact, boomers have become the first generation that have entered their “golden” years in poorer health than their parents.