Support from family and friends

It’s helpful to think about the kind of help you might need from your family, friends and neighbours. Building up a support network can be useful.

Some relatives and friends might be best helping with 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 are good at listening to you and letting you talk about the things you’re worrying about.

It’s very important that you know who you can turn to and how they’ll be able to help. If you always seem to be good at coping with everything, your relatives and friends may not realise how badly you need help. Or they may be waiting for you to ask them for help.

Try to identify a few key people. They could be parents, grown-up children, close friends or colleagues, neighbours, or someone from a local carers’ or cancer support group.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed try making a list of things that you need help with. You could then ask them what they would be able and happy to do. Remember that even having them cook a meal for you or simply spend time with the person you care for can help.

Some friends may be able to help on a regular basis, for example for a couple of hours a week. Others may be happy to help every now and again. Find out what suits them and write a list of people you can call on should you need extra help.

We have more information about the emotional support you might need as a carer.

Back to Looking after someone with advanced cancer

Managing symptoms

There are many ways you can help the person you’re looking after to manage symptoms or side effects while they are at home.

Support from voluntary organisations

Charities and voluntary organisations may be able to offer information, support groups, financial help, holiday schemes, transport or counselling.

Other care options

You might need to take some time off from caring. There are different care options available to help you do this.