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When we think of someone caring for a loved one, our first impression isn't of a person in their mid-twenties. Generally, we think of an older adult spouse or middle-aged child caring for a parent. However, a rapidly growing population of caregivers are millennials.
While millennial caregivers face all the same ups and downs as their older peers, they're also at a point in their lives that can compound the challenges of caregiving. They're often in less financially stable situations, trying to launch their careers or even start college.
"This is a destabilizing disease for all communities, but has acute challenges for millennials and particularly millennials of color," said Jason Resendez, the executive director of the Latino coalition of the nonprofit UsAgainstAlzheimer's.
I talk to Jessica Guthrie, a full-time millennial caregiver, advocate, educator, and nonprofit senior executive, in today's episode.
Jessica is her mother's full-time caregiver, who was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease eight years ago. For the first half of her journey, Jessica was caregiving from a distance while she worked in Texas and her mother lived in Virginia. After years of consistent travel, she recently moved back home to live with her mother to ensure she received the most attentive care. Jessica deeply cares about amplifying the voices and experiences of millennial caregivers as they navigate the complexities and rigors of the healthcare system, continue to thrive in their career growth, and intentionally balance their self-care and well-being. You can find her teaching dance fitness classes at her local YMCA when she's not working or caregiving.
Jessica is also the Vice President and Chief Program Officer at Teach For America Dallas-Fort Worth. She works alongside a talented team to recruit, train and support our nation's most promising leaders to influence systems-level change in their classrooms and beyond. She has been instrumental in developing the leadership and teaching capacities of over 1,200 education leaders, reaching 60,000 students daily. Jessica profoundly believes that all children deserve unparalleled access to quality education to self-determine their futures in the face of our country's history and ongoing systemic inequity.
Jessica is now working on blending her passion for equity, education, caregiving, and dementia care to support families and companies better helping our aging loved ones.
Jessica started an Instagram account called, CareerCargivingCollide, where she shares her journey and advice daily.
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Contact Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org