If you live alone

Many people with advanced cancer are elderly and live alone with limited support from family or friends.

If you live alone and don’t have a family member or friend who can act as your carer, you can seek assistance from other sources, including:

Palliative care providers and other services can help you maintain independence for as long as possible. At some point, however, you may need 24-hour care. This is usually available in a palliative care unit (hospice), hospital or residential aged care facility.

If you want 24-hour professional care to be provided in your own home, you will usually need to pay for private nursing services, which can cost many thousands of dollars. You may feel more in control of the situation if you investigate your options ahead of time and discuss your wishes with your health care team.


This information was last reviewed in January 2017
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