We often think of caregiving as something only adults do, but in the US there are at least 1.3 million youth caregivers (ages 8 to 18), many of them forced to drop out of school to provide care to a family member.  That’s what happened when a surgical error left Feylyn Lewis’ mother in need of 24/7 care. Feylyn was just eleven years old at the time and her parents were divorced, so her 18-year old brother left college to care for their mother and even took a job to pay the mortgage. I n today’s show, Feylyn talks about her brother’s sacrifice on behalf of their family and what it was like to grow up with a mom who needed constant care. Currently in England completing a PhD focused on identity development in young adult caregivers between the ages of 18 and 25, Feylyn also shares some of her research results and tells us how support for youth caregivers in the UK differs from support in the US. Tune in for a spirited conversation with a researcher on a mission.  Note: originally broadcast May 12,2016.

Follow Feylyn on Twitter
Learn about the American Association of Caregiving Youth: AACY

Ferrell’s High School graduation, with sister Feylyn and mom. His caregiving duties kept Ferrell from graduating from college until 18 years later.

 

Feylyn and her brother Ferrell today.

 Music: “Secrets” (Instrumental) by Yeyey | CC BY NC | Free Music Archive