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Palm Beach County teen among many youth caregivers during coronavirus pandemic

High school senior has been youth caregiver since she was 11
Posted at 5:12 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 17:23:32-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — High school senior Angiana Julceus is saddened that her graduation won't be a traditional one. Even having to do online schooling has been an adjustment for the 17-year-old because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But what has been a constant in Julceus' life is being a youth caregiver since she was 11 years old.

"Before I was care-giving for a grandmother of mine, but we are not care-giving for her no more," she said.

Now she takes care of her brother, who broke his ankle in a car crash, and her mother, who has diabetes.

"So what I do is I help her out in the house a lot," Julceus said. "I clean a lot. I cook a lot."

She gets support from the American Association of Caregiving Youth. She's among 543 children in the program in Palm Beach County.

The organization realizes with social distancing, providing relief for these young caregivers is necessary. Connie Siskowski is the founder of the organization.

"Maybe not everybody likes to cook, and so that's why we are very thankful," Siskowski said. "These past Saturdays we've had meals delivered to over 100 of our family members, so that gives them a real break."

Counseling and mentors continues with the use of technology.

"Thankfully we've been able to provide ongoing counseling through tele-health," Siskowski said. "One of our partners has provided that service for us. Security and confidentiality are always issues that we are concerned about."

Needs that will remain even after the pandemic is over.

"We certainly welcome donations because we had to cancel three fundraising activities, also volunteering," Siskowski said.