- Cancer information for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Cancer information for the community
- Family and carers
Family and carers
Looking after someone with cancer
Am I a carer?
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.
How can I help the person?
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.
I don’t always like being a carer. Is this normal?
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.
What if I do something wrong?
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.
Who can help me?
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.
Can I get any money to help me?
Some carers can get payments from Services Australia (Centrelink).
If you work part-time or full-time, talk to your boss about what leave you can take.