When you stop being a young carer

When you have been a young carer, it is very strange when it comes to an end. When you stop being somebody’s carer, you might find that you have a lot of time on your hands. It may make you feel quite down. Or you may get ill, because stress catches up with you. Give yourself some time to recover. You have been through a lot. If you need someone to talk to, there are lots of organisations that can help.

It may be that the person you have been looking after has got better, and they don’t need as much support any more. It can be tempting to try to keep caring for them in the same way. But you should give yourself a break – you deserve it. And after all, they will probably tell you if they ever need some more help.

If the person you have been looking after has died, you might be coping with difficult emotions, and trying to come to terms with what has happened. Make sure you give yourself time to grieve. Eventually, you will start to feel less sad and you can start to move on.

You might want to fill your time with a new hobby. For example, some young carers become volunteers, so that they can put their skills and experiences as carers to good use. You might feel stronger. You might feel more emotionally mature. You can do things that other people might not be able to.

And soon, life will start to get back to normal. Seeing friends. Starting new activities. You might have exams to take or want to make some decisions about your future.

Moving on

There may come a time when you consider moving away from home. You may go to college or university, or get a job and want to move out. And that’s fine.

You may feel guilty about leaving. This might be because you are worried the cancer will come back. Or you are sad about leaving people behind who have also lost a loved one. These feelings are normal.

But you have your whole life ahead of you, and your experience with cancer shouldn’t stop you from doing all the things you want to do.

If your loved one has long-term care needs, young carers’ services and social care services can help support them, and you can focus on your future.

If you are looking for a job, thinking about moving out, or trying to plan your future studies or career, themix.org.uk is a great source of information. It is a website just for young people.

Let yourself be young. And make the most of all the opportunities that you have.

It’s important to know that you’re not horrible if you go out and have a good time or keep doing normal things after they’ve died.

Siana, 14

Back to If you are a young person looking after someone with cancer

Counselling

Counselling is support if you would like to talk to someone about your feelings.

Depression

You, or the person you look after, might feel very low at times.

Coping with death

Hearing that the person you are looking after is going to die can be very difficult, but there are people who can support you.