Support and information

Monday 1 December, 2014

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Help and support can help make the life of a carer easier.

The availability of services may vary depending on where you live. Some services are free, but others may have a cost. Talk to the social worker at the treatment centre or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out what services are available.

Aboriginal resources

Looking After Ourselves: Carers NSW

This kit includes a DVD that covers how Aboriginal carers can take breaks and look after their own wellbeing.

Aboriginal Cancer Journeys: Cancer Council

Stories from Aboriginal people and carers about living with a cancer diagnosis.

Carer services

Carers Australia

1800 242 636
carersaustralia.com.au

National body represents Australia’s carers and can help with referrals, counselling and support. Carers Associations are available in each state and territory.

National Carer Counselling Program (NCCP)

1800 242 636

Offers short-term counselling for carers. The program is delivered by qualified, professional counsellors either in person, by telephone, one-on-one or in a group. The NCCP service is run by your local Carers Association.

Young Carers

1800 242 636
youngcarers.net.au

Supports young people caring for a parent who is physically or mentally ill. Run by Carers Australia, the program offers support and information.

Counselling

Better Access initiative  

Medicare-subsidised referral to psychological counselling through your GP.

Beyond Blue

1300 22 4636
beyondblue.org.au

Offers a 24-hour telephone counselling service. Online and email counselling are available 7 days a week.

Kids Helpline

1800 55 1800
kidshelp.com.au

A telephone and online counselling service and crisis support for young people aged 5–25.

Lifeline

13 11 14
lifeline.org.au

A 24-hour telephone crisis support and suicide prevention service.

Equipment and aids

Independent Living Centres Australia

1300 885 886

Offers advice on a range of products and services to help with aspects of day-today living, including mobility, sleeping, eating and transport.

Financial assistance

Centrelink

humanservices.gov.au

Offers financial support for people with a long-term illness and for primary carers.

Financial Counselling Australia

1800 007 007
financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au

Information about financial counselling and help to find a qualified counsellor.

Home help

Call your local council

Some local councils provide a range of community and in-home services, such as Meals on Wheels or respite care. If you have a palliative care team, they can organise home help for you. 

Home nursing

Talk to your palliative care team and/or your private health fund

Home nursing can be organised as part of your palliative care. Private services are also available.

Legal and financial advice and information

Cancer Council Pro Bono Program

13 11 20

Supports people affected by cancer who need legal or financial advice.

Respite care

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres
1800 052 222 during business hours
1800 059 059 for emergency respite

Available at home, in a respite care centre or, in some cases, a hospital or hospice.

Support groups

Face-to-face groups
Cancer Council 13 11 20
Contact your hospital social worker to see if they run any support groups.

It can help to meet with others who understand what it is like to have cancer. You may be reluctant to share your story or listen to other people’s, but many people find that they benefit from the close bonds with others.

Telephone support groups
Cancer Council 13 11 20

Provide a chance to connect with others over the phone. There are groups for advanced cancer and for carers.

Online discussion groups
cancerconnections.com.au

People can connect with each other at any time, ask or answer questions, or write a blog of their experiences.

Learn more about cancer

You may find it helpful to learn more about cancer. Having a better understanding of treatments and services may give you more confidence when speaking to health care professionals.

You can call Cancer Council 13 11 20 for information and support. The hospital, treatment centre or Cancer Council may also run workshops or discussions about cancer, treatments and side effects.

Related publications

Cancer Council has a range of free publications:

Call 13 11 20 and ask for copies. 
Updated: 01 Dec, 2014