Youth Caregivers provide assistance to a sick, disabled or elderly person. C.O.M.E.’s SHARKS Program provides monthly support group services and respite to students in collaboration with their school’s counselor, dean, nurse, and parents. Ariella is from Brooklyn and a 2017 SHARKS Award recipient. She is a granddaughter, a daughter, a sister, a student and a blessing and a Youth Caregiver.
My granddaughter, Ariella has been exceptionally helpful during my illness for the past four years. At the onset of my illness she was nine years old, she is now thirteen years old and very responsible. Since the onset of my illness in 2014, she has been assisting me in the home with chores and light housekeeping. She pre-pours my medication and reminds me to take them on time. During the summer and other school holidays she accompanies me to medical appointments. Sometimes, she holds my hand so tight and secure for fear of me falling. I usually have to ask her to loosen her grip.
At night just before Ariella retires for sleep she will call me on the telephone and ask “are you ok, do you need anything? I’m going to sleep now”. On Sundays her mother drives us to church and my granddaughter usually comes to my apartment to walk me out to the car. When we arrive at church, she walks me to my seat in the sanctuary before she goes upstairs where she sits with her family. When church is over, she returns to walk me back out to the car. This is only a small example of her love and dedication. She also does my hair and polishes my nails and toes. She deserves appreciation and recognition because she is not only helpful to me; she is an example to her younger brother who tries to compete in his own way.
Do you know a youth caregiver?
Nominate a Youth Caregiver. Nomination form on our website at comeoutreach.org. Join the SHARKS as we host a Purple Day in support of Alzheimer’s’ research.