My name is Ava, and I am a young caregiver.

I care for my grandma who lives in my house with me and my mom. She has Alzheimer’s disease. My grandfather has some physical challenges and lives in a retirement home.

 My grandma has had Alzheimer’s for some years now. I care for her by making sure she is ok, bringing her medicine and helping her keep safe. Being a young caregiver makes me feel strong and helpful.

But my grandmother has recently started escaping our house. It is very scary, and I worry about her all the time and especially when I’m not at home. I get stressed and overwhelmed worrying about her. I sometimes over-think what could happen, and this makes me even more anxious.

When I get overwhelmed or frustrated, I try to cry it out. That gets it out of my system, and I can go on with my day. I also go to Powerhouse which gets my mind off the tough feelings. It gives me a break from everything. We do really fun activities and it helps me focus on something else for a little bit. Just knowing that they are there for me makes me feel really good inside.

Before I knew that there were other young caregivers out there, I felt alone. I felt like there was no one else in the world who felt like me. Being around other young caregivers makes me feel seen and heard! Sometimes you just need someone who knows exactly what you’re going through. I think there must be other young caregivers out there who feel alone, just like I used to, and who don’t know about Powerhouse. I want them to know they are not alone!

“I felt alone before I knew that there were other young caregivers out there.”

– Ava, 11 Years Old, Caring for her grandmother