By State Farm, Special for USDR
Going back to school is a mixed bag of emotions for most children; a blend of excitement to see friends again and disappointment that the summer is officially over. But according to the American Association for Caregiving Youth® (AACY), the start of the school year results in stress, anxiety and depression for the estimated 1.4 million youth between the ages of eight to eighteen years caring for ill or disabled parents or grandparents. These young people are often forced to forgo their education, health, and childhood to take on the responsibilities of an adult caregiver. State Farm, ADT, and AACY are hoping to relieve some of the stress for these families as the school year begins through the Caregiving Youth Stress Reduction Project.
More than one third of youth caregivers help with at least one activity daily for a loved one, such as dressing, feeding or bathing. Children in ethnic-minority families who are the only English-speaking family members often miss school to serve as translators for family doctor appointments. As a result of these heavy responsibilities, these children often fall behind in school and struggle with feelings of isolation and anxiety.
The Caregiving Youth Stress Reduction Project aims to relieve some of this anxiety by providing a source of 24/7 live communication for ill or disabled family members while allowing the youth caregiver to focus on school and socialization. ADT, the nation’s leading provider of home security services, will donate ADT Medical Alert monitoring devices in the homes of 100 AACY client families throughout the remainder of 2016. AACY will select families by identifying their needs and working with ADT to provide the appropriate device at no cost to the family.
“All of us at ADT, along with our colleagues from Protection One, are proud to help make a difference in the lives of families who will benefit from this donation,” said Jay Darfler, ADT Senior Vice President. “We applaud AACY for the tremendous work they’re doing to increase awareness and provide support to youth caregivers.”
State Farm will pay the cost for one year of monitoring service for all 100 families. The State Farm Connected Care programhelps consumers age in their homes by providing accessibility to leading aging-in-place technology providers through a variety of automation and monitoring systems and medical alert devices. “As the leading provider of homeowners’ insurance, State Farm has a vested interest in helping build safer, stronger, and better educated communities,” said Dar Hakimi, State Farm Director-Innovation. “By forming relationships with companies such as ADT, we are empowering customers help protect themselves, their family members and irreplaceable possessions.”
The donation of medical alert devices and one year of paid monitoring service was announced at the AACY Back to School Brunch on Thursday, August 25 in Boca Raton, Florida. The event also honored Carolyn Boltin-Kelly, First Lady of Florida Atlantic University, an advocate and former youth caregiver who cared for her mom as she battled cancer.
According to Dr. Connie Siskowski, “We are thrilled to help reduce the stress on the youth caregiver plus other caregiving adults in the home. In addition, the systems also provide comfort for the care receiver as explained by one mom: ‘You have really made life easier for me knowing that my children aren’t stuck with the burden of my issues and making sure that they have the life they deserve.'”
For more information visit http://st8.fm/kidcareadt.
About State Farm
The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto, home and individual life insurance in the United States. Its 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve more than 83 million policies and accounts – nearly 81 million auto, home, life, health and commercial policies, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 35 on the 2016 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit www.statefarm.com.
ADT is a leading provider of security and automation solutions for homes and businesses in the United States and Canada. ADT’s broad and pioneering set of products and services, including ADT Pulse® interactive home and business solutions, and health services, meet a range of customer needs for today’s active and increasingly mobile lifestyles. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, ADT helps provide peace of mind to nearly seven million customers, and it employs approximately 17,000 people at 200 locations. More information is available at www.adt.com.
About the American Association of Caregiving Youth
The American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) is a Florida based 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation that began serving the greater Boca Raton community in 1998. Today AACY is the only organization of its kind in the United States solely dedicated to addressing the issues surrounding the silent, vulnerable and hidden population, conservatively estimated to exceed 1.4 million children, who provide care for ill, injured, elderly or disabled family members. Its mission is to increase awareness and provide support services for youth caregivers and their families by connecting them with healthcare, education and community resources. AACY’s model program, the Caregiving Youth Project (CYP), works in partnership with The School District of Palm Beach County. Dr. Connie Siskowski, the organization’s founder was a 2012 CNN Top Ten Hero.