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Caring, at home, for someone who has advanced cancer can be an exhausting job – more than full time if you have to be up in the night. Even when you are asleep you are listening just in case help is needed. No matter how devoted you are it is probably unrealistic to think that you will be able to manage by yourself.

Fortunately plenty of help is available, but you may need help to find it.

  • Your GP and the District Nurses will be the first people to ask.
  • If you or they think more help is needed they should contact the Community Palliative Care Team (Macmilllan Nurses and Social Worker) or the Local Hospice and Palliative Care specialists.
  • Marie Curie or Macmillan volunteers can sit through the night so you can get some sleep.
  • Your family will also want to help, but it is important to be honest with each other and be organised about who can do what – and be prepared to support each other.
  • If at any time you feel more help is needed don’t be afraid to ask the professionals!
  • You will, of course, want all the attention to be given to the person with the cancer but it is easy for your needs, as the carer, to be forgotten.
  • Your neighbours may be able to help with shopping but may hesitate to offer if you do not ask.

You need to get out for some fresh air, go to the shops, have a coffee with friends without feeling guilty, maybe talk with someone to share your worries, seek some advice, even have a laugh.

Caring for someone with Cancer? From time to time you will need a break.

At Cancer Connections you will find friends who have been there and understand.

Telephone 0191 456 5081 and see if we can help. We are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm at 258 Harton Lane, South Shields NE34 0LR