Support and information

Help and support can help make life easier. Below is an overview of different organisations and services that can provide information and help for you and your family. The availability of services may vary depending on where you live. Talk to the social worker at the hospital or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out what services are available.

 Find out what services are available in the areas of:


Accommodation

Cancer Council

13 11 20

Contact the hospital social worker.

Cancer patients and carers who travel a long way for treatment can often get accommodation at or near the treatment centre. Facilities may be self-contained or shared, and the cost is sometimes subsidised.
National Rural Health and search for ‘PATS’ Every state and territory has a government scheme that provides financial help to people who need to travel long distances
to access specialist medical treatment that
is not available in their local area.

Carer services

Carers Australia
1800 242 636 
National body representing Australia’s carers; can direct you to local counselling and support services. Carers Associations are available in each state and territory.
Carer Gateway 1800 422 737  Provides practical information and resources for carers, and helps them connect to local support services.
National Carer Counselling Program (NCCP)
1800 242 636
 Offers short-term counselling for carers.
The NCCP service is run by your local
Carers Association.

Counselling and mentoring services

Australian Psychological
Society
Use the ‘Find a Psychologist’ search to look for a practitioner in your area.
Better Access initiative Medicare-subsidised referral to counselling through your GP.
beyondblue
1300 22 4636
Offers 24-hour telephone counselling service. Online and email counselling are available 7 days a week.
Cancer Council’s
Peer Support Programs
13 11 20
Community of people affected by cancer that you can connect with online, by phone or in person.
Canteen
1800 835 932
Online, phone and face-to-face counselling for young people aged 12–25.
Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800
Phone, email and webchat counselling for young people aged 5–25.
Lifeline
13 11 14
A 24-hour telephone crisis support and suicide prevention service.
MensLine Australia
1300 78 99 78
A 24-hour telephone and online support and referral service for men with family and relationship issues.

Equipment and aids

Independent Living Centres Australia
1300 885 886
Offers advice on a range of products and services to help with aspects of day-to-day living, including mobility, sleeping, eating and transport.

Financial assistance

Centrelink
132 717
Offers financial support for people with a long-term illness and for primary carers.

Financial Counselling Australia
1800 007 007

Information about financial counselling and help to find a qualified counsellor.

Funerals

Australian Funeral Directors Association
1300 888 188
Provides a listing of funeral directors and estimates of funeral costs. It also has information on prepaying or planning a funeral.
Funeral Directors Australia Includes a listing of independent funeral directors in your local area.
Funeral Celebrants Association Australia Includes a directory for finding a funeral celebrant in your local area.

Home help

Ask your local council or your palliative care team. Some local councils provide a range of community and in-home services, such as Meals on Wheels or respite care.
My Aged Care
1800 200 422
Provides information about different types of aged care services and eligibility.

Home nursing

Talk to your palliative care team and/or health fund. Home nursing can be organised as part of your palliative care. Private services are also available.

Legal advice and information

Cancer Council’s Legal and Financial Service
13 11 20
Supports people affected by cancer needing legal advice. This service is free for eligible clients.

Palliative care

CareSearch Online palliative care information, services and evidence for patients, carers and families.
Palliative Care Australia Provides information and resources, and can link you to your local palliative care office.

Spiritual or pastoral care

Contact your hospital. Most large hospitals have a pastoral carer who can talk to you about spiritual concerns (from religious and non-religious viewpoints).

Respite care

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres
1800 052 222
1800 059 059 (emergency)
Available at home, in a respite care centre or, in some cases, a hospital or hospice.

Support groups

Face-to-face groups Call Cancer Council

13 11 20 for details of local support groups.

Meet with others who understand what it’s like to have cancer. Many people find they benefit from the close bonds formed at these groups.
Telephone support groups
Cancer Council
13 11 20
There are groups for people with advanced cancer and for carers.
Online discussion forum People can connect with each other at any time, ask or answer questions, or write a blog about their experiences.

This information was last reviewed in December 2016
View who reviewed this content
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Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment

Cancer information

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends

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