Support from family and friends when caring for someone with advanced cancer
You will probably need the help and support of family and friends as well as professionals.
Some relatives and friends might be best at doing some of the chores, such as the washing or shopping. Others will be happier to sit and talk to the person you’re caring for so that you can have time off. Some people are best at just listening to you and letting you get everything off your chest.
Many people are tempted to try to do everything themselves, especially at first. You may feel that you have to put on a brave face so you don’t let everyone down, including yourself and the person you’re looking after. This may make it difficult to ask for help, especially if people don’t readily offer it.
Sometimes it may seem easier to turn down an offer rather than explain what you need to a newcomer. However, it’s very important that, right from the start, you find out who you can turn to and how they’ll be able to help. Your family and friends may just be waiting for you to ask them, not knowing how to offer. If you seem to be very good at coping with everything, they may not realise how badly you need help.
Try to identify a few key people you can talk openly to and ask anything. They could be parents, grown-up children, close friends or colleagues, neighbours, or someone from a local carers’ or cancer support group.
The section on feelings and emotions looks more closely at the emotional support you might need from family and friends.