6 mins. read

Where to get support for carers and families of people diagnosed with cancer

This guide provides a list of resources for carers, offering emotional, practical and financial support.

where to get support as a carer of a cancer patient - Perci Health

Key takeaways

  • Be prepared for your role and relationship to change: When someone close to you receives a cancer diagnosis, you may find yourself helping them with things that they were able to do before.
  • Your own self-care is important too: When caring for someone with cancer, it can be easy to put all your focus into helping them. But, you mustn’t forget your own needs and wellbeing.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help: If you are finding the physical, emotional, or financial demands of being a carer tough, reach out to others.

When you find out that someone you care about has cancer, it can be a worrying and confusing time. It’s natural to be anxious about what their diagnosis means for them, and you. You may find yourself stepping into a carer’s role by giving unpaid help. This can be anything from driving them to medical appointments to providing emotional support as they undergo treatment.

The assistance you give is likely to vary depending on your relationship with the person and what their needs are.. Regardless of the circumstances, however, caring for someone with cancer can be hard. You’ll likely feel a range of emotions and have days where juggling their care alongside work, home and family is difficult.

Support for the carers of cancer patients is important too. That’s why we have put together this guide about where to get the support that will help you and your loved ones as you navigate caring for someone with cancer.

Adapting to becoming a carer

Here at Perci Health, we understand the difficulties and challenges that those affected by cancer face. We also know that after someone you care about receives a cancer diagnosis, there is likely to be a period of learning and understanding for you both.

For the person diagnosed with cancer it can be frustrating to no longer be able to do certain things and they can feel guilty about needing support from others. It can also be difficult for them to need help, especially if it includes aspects of personal care such as bathing and going to the toilet.

You may face challenges too. It will take time to transition, especially if the dynamic of your relationship has changed and you find yourself needing to do tasks that you aren’t used to doing.

Approach the situation with empathy and keep communication open between you. Don’t be scared to seek help from other people or places too.

Who can support me?

If you are wondering where to get support for carers , there are many organisations that are there for you and your family. They can provide information that can help you to understand your loved one’s diagnosis, give you a safe place to discuss your feelings, offer you a break when things get too much, and help you access financial support.

Emotional support

The emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis can be incredibly hard to navigate. As a carer, it can be particularly tough to juggle the help you provide with your own feelings and welfare. Having emotional support can be invaluable for both you and the loved one you care for.

Here at Perci Health, we offer support from experts for carers and people diagnosed with cancer. We have dedicated cancer nurse specialists who can answer your questions and specialist cancer psychologists that can help you work through your emotions.

Free support

There are a range of charities and organisations that support both the person diagnosed with cancer and those caring for them.These provide information, run support groups, offer advice, and more.

  • Maggie’s is a charity with centres across the UK that provide information and support for anyone affected by cancer.
  • The Carers Trust is a charity that offers support services to unpaid carers. Get help with finances and advice to help you manage as a carer.

Financial support

A cancer diagnosis can cause financial strain, especially if the person with cancer is unable to work or you need to change your working arrangements to care for them. If you need help understanding what financial support you are entitled to or want to find out more about funding, many places can help.

  • Macmillian can provide details of grants and loans you may be able to access, as well as details about how to claim for Carer’s Allowance. They also have a free phone line and can provide physical support for your loved one.
  • The Citizen’s Advice partners with Macmillian to provide advice on welfare benefits for those affected by cancer.

Support groups and forums

Being a carer for someone with cancer can lead to a whole range of emotions. It can help to talk to others that understand what you are going through.

  • Cancer Research is an excellent source of information but they also have a 24-hour Cancer Chat forum where you can speak to moderators and others going through similar experiences.
  • Carers UK is a hub of information for cancer patients and their families. They provide advice on a huge range of topics and have an online forum for carers.

Additional resources

Marie Curie offers in house help from volunteers, free nursing support and end of life care.

Remember to ask for help from family and friends

As a carer it can feel like you are carrying a lot on your shoulders. You may feel like it’s up to you to take on all the responsibilities associated with their care. But, it can be beneficial to reach out to your wider circle of family and friends to see if they can offer some help.

Take time to identify your capabilities and limitations and make decisions about where you could benefit from an extra pair of hands. It could be that someone doing the weekly food shop for you would help or that another family member being the main point of contact for updates will give you more time to focus on other tasks.

Find out more about getting cancer support in the workplace.

Here at Perci Health, we are here to support anyone who has been impacted by cancer. If you think you or your loved one could benefit from virtual access to high-quality cancer specialists, sign up for a Perci Health account. Once registered, you’ll be able to find out more about our support types and arrange personalised on-demand appointments.