- Cancer Information
- Supporting someone with cancer
- Caring for someone with cancer
- Your role as a carer
- Long-distance caring
Some people live away from the person with cancer. You may feel guilty for not being closer, and you may feel you are the last one to know about treatment and care.
Living away from the everyday care may give you a different perspective on the situation. In some cases, this could help you solve problems or coordinate care more effectively.
If you want to stay involved, there are many things you can do.
- If someone else is the primary carer, ask what you can do to support them.
- Create a local support network. You could start by connecting with relatives and friends who can visit the person regularly. You can also talk to a social worker on the treatment team about arranging volunteer and paid care workers. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out what support is available in the person’s local area.
- Consider using websites such as Gather My Crew to coordinate offers of help.
- Keep an up-to-date contact list of the health professionals who are looking after the person with cancer.
- Use technology to stay in touch. Options include email, blogs, text messages, video calls and social media apps.
- Ask the person if their health professional will allow them to record consultations so you can hear what was discussed, or see if you can join the consult by phone.
- Set some money aside so you are prepared if you have to travel suddenly.
- Create an emergency care plan and give copies to the carer and emergency contacts you have nominated.
Podcast: Cancer Affects the Carer Too
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.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.