Long-distance caring

Living away from the person with cancer can be difficult. You may feel guilty for not being closer, and you may feel you are the last one to know about treatment and care. This can be frustrating when you want to stay involved.

However, there are many things you can do. 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.

Here are some things you can do as part of your long-distance caring plan:

  • Create a local support network. You could start by reaching out to relatives and friends who can visit the person regularly. You can also talk to the hospital social worker about arranging volunteer and paid care workers, or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out what support is available in the person’s area.
  • Consider using websites such as lovlist.org and caringbridge.org to coordinate offers of help. 
  • Write a contact list of the health professionals who are looking after the person with cancer, and keep this list handy in case you need to contact them.
  • Use technology to stay in touch. Options include email, blogging, text messaging, Skype, Facebook and video conferencing.
  • Ask the person if their doctor will allow them to record consultations so you can hear what was discussed.
  • Look for the best possible telephone (landline and/or mobile) plan to reduce costs.
  • Create an Emergency Care Plan and give copies to the carer and emergency contacts you have nominated.

Listen to podcasts on Cancer Affects the Carer Too and How to Help Someone with Cancer

This information was last reviewed in September 2017
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Support services

Support for carers
Cancer Council NSW offers support online, over the phone and in person and can link you to our practical support services

Cancer Council Online Community
A supportive online community for people affected by cancer, including family, friends and carers

Cancer information

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

Emotions and cancer
Here are some suggestions for managing the physical effects of the diagnosis, coping with the diagnosis, as well as how to get support.

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