- Cancer Information
- Supporting someone with cancer
- Caring for someone with cancer
- Caring for yourself
- Asking others for help
Asking others for help
It can be difficult to ask for and accept assistance, but if you seem to be coping, others may not realise you need help. Family and friends may be waiting for you to ask because they don’t know how to offer help or fear they will be intruding or disturbing you. Let them know their support is appreciated and that they’re not interfering.
Sharing the caring role
Asking for help is not a sign of failure; it may allow you to spend more time with the person you’re caring for or to take a break. Many carers say they feel overburdened and resentful. Sharing the caring role with other people can ensure that the person with cancer gets the necessary support they need without overloading you.
How to share tasks
You may want to hold a meeting to work out how everyone can help and then prepare a roster. Or you could share a list of tasks through a website such as Gather My Crew. This lets family and friends know exactly what help you need and when you would like it. It means others don’t have to guess what they can do to help. Tasks that can be done by or shared with others include:
- household chores such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing, shopping, gardening, mowing the lawn or looking after pets
- driving the person with cancer to appointments and/or attending appointments with them
- picking up children from school or other activities
- keeping others updated
- staying with the person you care for while you take a break.
I decided I had to swim daily. I had a roster of friends who looked after my wife for an hour every morning.Rob
Podcast: Coping with a cancer diagnosis
Dr Alison White, Palliative Medicine Specialist, Royal Perth Hospital, WA; Tracey Bilson, Consumer; Louise Dillon, Consumer; Louise Durham, Nurse Practitioner, Palliative Care Outpatients, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Katrina Elias, Carers Program, South Western Sydney Local Health District, NSW Health, NSW; Jessica Elliott, Social Worker, Youth Cancer Services, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Brendan Myhill, Social Worker and Bereavement Research Officer, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; Penny Neller, Project Coordinator, National Palliative Care Projects, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Queensland University of Technology, QLD; Olivia Palac, Acting Assistant Director, Occupational Therapy, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Nicole Rampton, Advanced Occupational Therapist, Cancer Services, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Shirley Roberts, Nurse Consultant, Medical Oncology, Northern Adelaide Cancer Centre, SA; Dr Elysia Thornton-Benko, Specialist General Practitioner, and UNSW Research Fellow, NSW; Kathleen Wilkins, Consumer; Helen Zahra, Carers Program, South Western Sydney Local Health District, NSW Health, NSW.
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