Caring for someone with fatigue

Many people give support to a family member, partner, friend, or neighbour who has fatigue. Caring for (looking after) someone with fatigue can mean many things, such as helping with personal care, providing transport or organising appointments.

If you are caring for someone with fatigue, there are many simple things that you can do to help:

  • Acknowledge that fatigue is difficult for you both.
  • Use a fatigue diary to plan. This will help you both see when the person with fatigue has more or less energy to do things.
  • Try to help the person you care for reduce their fatigue by helping them be more active or make changes to their diet.

You can go also go to appointments at the hospital with the person you care for. You could help them explain to the healthcare team how the fatigue is affecting you both. You could show them the person’s fatigue diary and ask their advice about what else you can do to help.

Looking after yourself

When you are caring for someone else it is important to look after yourself too. Make sure you keep up with your own health appointments. This includes any vaccinations you need, such as the flu jab. If you are taking any medicines regularly, it is important you have a supply of these.

If you can, try to:

  • take breaks
  • eat well
  • be active
  • get a good night’s sleep
  • get some support for yourself – perhaps by chatting to other carers in a support group or on our Online Community.

We have more information for when you are looking after someone with cancer and how to get help if you need it.

Back to Tiredness (fatigue)

What is fatigue?

Fatigue is feeling very tired most, or all, of the time. It can sometimes be caused by cancer or cancer treatment.

What causes fatigue?

There are many causes of fatigue. Knowing about them may help you to cope with your fatigue a bit better.

Tips for better rest

Tiredness can affect your sleeping patterns. There are ways to manage this so you get the most out of your rest.

Managing your fatigue

Making some simple changes to your diet and exercise routine may help manage symptoms of fatigue.