Family and carers
If someone in your family has been diagnosed with cancer or you are caring for someone with cancer the information below may help.
Click on the headings below to learn more.
You are a “carer” if you’re helping someone who has cancer. Many carers are family members, but you don’t have to be – you could be a friend or neighbour.
You might help out full-time and others do a few things for a short time. The amount of caring you do might change over time. For example, if the person with cancer gets sicker, you might do more to help them.
There are many ways to help someone with cancer. What you do depends on how much time you spend caring. You might:
- talk to the doctors and nurses
- do things around the house, like make dinner and wash up
- look after the kids
- do the shopping
- give the person medicine
- listen to the person
- look after the money.
Even if you love the person with cancer, you might not always feel happy about looking after them. It can be hard to care for someone with cancer if you have mob to look after too. It’s okay to feel mad, annoyed, stressed, guilty, lonely, sad, tired or scared.
You might worry about doing something wrong and getting blamed.
The important thing is that you’re doing your best. Don’t feel guilty or blame yourself. You won’t get payback for doing something wrong.
If you are feeling very worried or upset, talk to your doctor. They might be able to help you.
Asking for help can make caring easier. Some mob might be able to do some jobs so you have time for other things. Carer Gateway can also give advice and support.
Ask the doctors, nurses and Aboriginal Health Workers if they know about any home help or nursing services. They might recommend respite care, which means you can have a short break while someone else cares for the person with cancer. It’s important to look after yourself too.
Some carers can get payments from Services Australia (Centrelink). You can call the Centrelink Indigenous call centre on 1800 136 380.
If you work part-time or full-time, talk to your boss about what leave you can take.