“Meet Romy: A 22-Year-Old Informal Carer in Amsterdam Taking Care of Her Sick Mother”

In the context of the Week of the Young Informal Carer, from 1 to 7 June, we are making up Amsterdam Informs acquainted with 22-year-old Romy. She has been taking care of her sick mother since she was ten years old. She’s been doing this for so long, she’s used to it. But it is important that young carers do not become overburdened and that they also take good care of themselves. That is why Romy receives support.

In Amsterdam, 25% of young people under the age of 25 are informal carers. Romy’s mother can no longer walk properly due to a neurological disorder. When her parents divorced, Romy automatically became her caregiver. ”The support I give to my mother is mainly the emotional side.” But Romy also gives support financially.

‘Because of course she can’t work anymore because of the worries and all the pain, I have a part-time job next to my studies. Then I make sure that if we want to do fun things, for example, or if she just can’t figure it out with the bills, I help out.” Romy also goes to hospitals. “Because I think I know her best, so I know what kind of support she needs.”

The bond between Romy and her mother is extremely strong and they have actually become friends. However, there are also many difficult sides to the situation. “What I find difficult is the feeling of guilt that sometimes comes with it, for example if I do go away with friends or if I go to school, while I know that she has had an operation and is lying on the couch at home, that I still would rather be home.”

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Romy receives support from Significantly, a center for informal care in Amsterdam. “I can be quite chaotic in my head, so they make sure I focus on one thing so that I can slowly solve my problems if I have them.”

She also advises other carers to ask for help. ”There are still quite a lot of problems involved and sometimes it is just very nice to be able to lose your egg.”

2023-05-30 13:31:57
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