- Cancer Information
- Supporting someone with cancer
- Caring for someone with cancer
- Your role as a carer
- Planning for the future
Planning for the future
A cancer diagnosis can make it difficult to talk about the future. It is never too early to think about how you and the person you are caring for will manage if the situation changes. Knowing plans are in place can help ease worries, give you a sense of control and allow you both to focus more fully on the present.
Learn more about:
An emergency care plan is a document that gathers information about the care you provide in one place, so that someone can take over from you if you are unable to provide care for any reason. It records the care routine, medicines taken and details of services that come to the house to help with care.
Think about the best people to fulfil your carer’s role. Discuss the duties with them and ask for their commitment, then give them and the person’s doctors a copy of the plan. Let the person you’re caring for know about the alternative arrangements. It is a good idea to carry a carer emergency card in your wallet. This tells people that you are a carer and who to contact in an emergency.
Advance care planning
It is important for the person with cancer to plan for their future medical treatment and care, and to discuss their preferences and values with family, friends and the health care team. This process is called advance care planning and it can involve preparing various legal documents.
See Advance care planning to learn more about substitute decision-makers, advance care directives and wills.
Podcast: How to Help Someone with Cancer
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.