Help & Care
Caring for Someone

Support for Carers

Carers sometimes need help and support to keep going. You may think you can cope on your own, but many carers have found that getting help made their lives easier.

The availability of services may vary depending on where you live. Some services are free but others may have a cost.

Where to find help
Home help
Home care services can help with practical tasks in the home such as cleaning, shopping, laundry and helping with bathing, dressing and toileting. 

Home nursing
A trained nurse may visit people with cancer in their homes to assist with personal care, administer medication, give injections or change dressings. Care may be provided regularly or when needed.

Support groups
Getting in touch with other people who have been through a similar experience can be beneficial. In these support settings, most people feel they can speak openly, share tips with others, and just be themselves.

Support services are available for patients, carers and family members. Please call NCSM’s Resource & Wellness Centre at 03-2698 7300 for more information.  

Respite care
Respite care allows carers to have a break from their caring role. Respite can be given at home, in a respite care centre or, in some cases, a hospital or hospice. 

Respite care can be for a couple of hours, overnight or a few days. You can access respite care for any reason. For example, you may have respite care to:
  • Get time out to access health care for yourself.
  • Visit friends or other family members.
  • Catch up on some sleep at home.
  • Run errands, such as grocery shopping.
  • Attend events, such as a school assembly or wedding.
Some carers don't access respite care because they feel guilty or concerned about leaving the person they are caring for. However, the service is there because caring can be a very difficult role and can challenge your own sense of well-being. By taking a break, you will probably find that you can continue your caring role more effectively.
We thank the reviewers of this booklet: Jane Ussher, School of Psychology, University of Western Sydney, NSW; Piero Bassu, Consumer, NSW; Lindy Cohn, Cancer Information Consultant, Cancer Council NSW Helpline; Dr Mandy Goldman, Cancer Counsellor, Private Practice; Christine Harris, Consumer; Joanna Jarrald, Assistant Project Coordinator, Cancer Council NSW; and Colleen Sheen, Executive Manager, Policy, Strategy and Communication Unit, Carers NSW.