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More and more people under age 18 are identifying as unpaid family caregivers

Coverage of aging is supported in part by AARP Arizona

More and more people under the age of 18 are identifying as unpaid family caregivers

According to a 2020 survey by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, there were more than 3 million children providing care to an adult, like a parent or grandparent.

That figure is now estimated to have hit more than 5 million children. These younger caregivers are also disproportionately people of color.

Younger caregivers often help with medication administration or activities of daily living like feeding or bathing. Research has shown that caregiving can take a toll on a young person’s mental and emotional well-being. They may experience feelings of isolation or sadness. It could also interfere with their academic success at school.

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KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.