Thursday, March 23, 2006

In the news: Kids as caregivers

This morning, I caught part of a story on NPR about a 15-year-old girl who finds herself in the role of caregiver for her mom, who has MS. Young Ashleigh has quite a positive take on her experience, though research says that more than a fifth of the kid-caregivers drop out of school. Snip:
[Ashleigh is] 15. Her mother, Valerie, has multiple sclerosis. She needs daily injections and sometimes more serious care. Like many people, their insurance doesn't pay for a nurse to do all this, so Ashleigh has had to step in.
A survey last year found that 1.4 million children between the ages of 8 to 18 provide care for a parent or family member. Nearly half say they help someone eat, get in and out of bed, get dressed, take a bath or go to the bathroom. A third of the kids help with medications. The caregiver role can be hard on the children. More than a fifth of them drop out of school. The youngest, between 8 and 11, are more likely to feel no one loves them.

Link to NPR page on the story, which includes a link to audio.

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