Support for Friends and Family

For many people, taking care of a family member or friend who has cancer might seem like the most natural thing in the world to do because you love that person.

But your role as support and caregiver at this time might be more intense than what you have experienced before. You may have to coordinate care, talk to doctors and provide physical, emotional and spiritual support in ways that could be very challenging to you. You might find that you are spending a significant amount of time dedicated to care giving. You may feel a range of feelings because of the care giving. You might worry about how being a caregiver is affecting your work and family life.

Often, caregivers put their own feelings and needs aside. But over time a caregiver can burn out, potentially hurting his or her own health and then can become unavailable to the loved one. What is important to remember is that caregivers need to take care of themselves. Caregivers need to understand their strengths and limits and to find support to help manage the medical issues and to get help with errands.