Video: Young caregivers talk about dementia in their family

Four siblings of different ages speak about being young caregivers for their grandmother living with dementia.

In this video, siblings Mikaela, Olivia, Ty and Aaron talk about being young caregivers to their grandmother, Alicia. At the time of filming in November 2023, Alicia had been living with Alzheimer’s disease for around 10 years. 

Mikaela talks about the challenges that can come with being so young while providing care. She was just 11 years old herself at the time of filming. 

“What I found most challenging was that I couldn’t help a lot because I was so young,” Mikaela shares. “I just tried to do as much as I could.” 

Olivia [18 at the time of filming] expresses how much work it takes to be a young caregiver, as it can “cut into your own personal life.” As she got older her caregiving role became more “hands-on.” Due to this, she “had to turn down a lot” and couldn’t go out as much as her friends did. 

Ty, a recent graduate from the University of Toronto’s Translational Research Program and age 26 at time of filming, talks about advocating for young caregivers. Ty also discusses how his caregiving has shaped part of his career. And he reflects on the challenges of balancing school with caregiving. 

“You’re balancing so many responsibilities on top of things,” Ty says. “You’re in school from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., you come home, you […] go right back into providing this important support.” 

Aaron, the oldest of the siblings (age 29 when this was filmed), describes caring for his grandmother as a “full circle moment.” She had helped raise him, and he now helps her in return. He sees this as roles being reversed. 

“It’s such a slow burn,” Aaron says of dementia caregiving. “You really do get to…sit with it for a long time [and] have a lot of time to accept that it’s happening.” 

He adds, “There are some things that are not fully in your control, and you have to accept that.” 

Their advice to other young caregivers for people with dementia:  

 “Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone, to seek out resources, and just remember that you’re doing amazing work.” —Ty 

 “It helped me a lot reaching out to people and talking about it. Keeping it in can be very overwhelming. Talking about it and reaching out to other people helps a lot.” —Olivia 

 “Having at least two or three people around you to support you can definitely go a long way.” —Aaron 

The Alzheimer Society is here to help. Find your local support team at Or visit our young caregiver hub anytime at