One in four Canadians aged 15 to 19 helps someone with challenges resulting from illness, disability or aging, according to University of Alberta researchers. Most are in school, and 60 per cent of young caregivers also work.

While 47 per cent of young caregivers spend less than two hours per week providing care, four per cent provide care 11 to 20 hours per week and six per cent spend more than 21 hours a week helping someone else. The average is six hours per week.

Many of them start early,” Fast said. “Many of them care for a very long time, and they move in and out of caregiving episodes across their entire life course.”

The Chamberland sisters — Elise, now 31, and Sarah, now 28 — cared for their mother Carrie for about 10 years until she died in June at age 58.

“She was always in the back of my mind. Every decision I made, everything I did,” Sarah said.

With the help of their father, Claude, Elise and Sarah looked after every detail of Carrie’s life.

Elise and Sarah’s caregiving journey became more complicated three years ago when their father was diagnosed with cancer.

Read more on the CBC.

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