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Caring for someone with cancer

Additional support and information

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 on 13 11 20 to find out what services are available.

Aboriginal resources

Cancer Council NSW

13 11 20
Cancer information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

Carers NSW

1800 242 636
Resources include the Aboriginal Carers Support Guide, the Koori Carer Yarning Resource Manual and the Looking After Ourselves Carer Support Resource.

Carer services

Carers Australia

1800 242 636
National body representing Australia’s carers. Carers Associations are available in each state and territory, and can help with referrals, counselling and support.

Carer Gateway

1800 422 737
Practical information and resources for carers, and links to support services in your local area.

Young Carers

1800 242 636
Supports young people caring for a parent who is physically or mentally ill. Run by Carers Australia, the program offers support and information.

Cancer information

Cancer Council

13 11 20
Cancer Council produces easy-to-read booklets and fact sheets on more than 25 types of cancer, treatment options, and emotional and practical issues. Call 13 11 20 for print copies, or download them from your local Cancer Council website.

Cancer Australia

Information about cancer from Australian Government cancer control agency.

Hospital or treatment centre

May host workshops or discussions about cancer, treatments and side effects.

American Cancer Society

Detailed information about cancer types and topics from the largest voluntary health organisation in the US.

Macmillan Cancer Support

Information about cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment from the leading UK cancer charity.


Cancer Council

13 11 20
Referrals to counselling services, as well as peer support programs that you can connect with online, by phone or in person.

National Carer Counselling program (NCCP)

1800 242 636
Offers short-term counselling for carers. The program is delivered in person, by telephone, one-on-one or in a group. The NCCP service is run by your local Carers Association.

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement

1800 642 066
Online information for people experiencing grief. 

Better Access initiative

Medicare-subsidised referral to psychological counselling through your GP.


1300 22 4636
Offers a 24-hour telephone counselling service. Online and email counselling are available 7 days a week.


1300 845 745 (landline only)
Community and family services to support all Australians who have experienced a loss.

Kids Helpline

1800 55 1800
A telephone and online counselling service and crisis support for young people aged 5–25.


13 11 14

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-to-day living, including mobility, sleeping, eating and transport.

Financial assistance


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

Financial Counselling Australia

1800 007 007
Information about financial counselling and help to find a qualified counsellor.

Home help

Call your local council, talk to your palliative care team or call Cancer Council 13 11 20

Some local councils provide a range of community and in-home services, such as Meals on Wheels or respite care. The palliative care team can organise home help for you, or you can contact Cancer Council to find out what services are available in your area.

My Aged Care

1800 200 422
Provides information about different types of aged care services and eligibility.

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

Legal and Financial Referral program

Cancer Council 13 11 20
Supports people affected by cancer who need legal or financial advice.

Palliative care


Online palliative care information, services and evidence for patients, carers and families.

Palliative Care Aged Care Evidence

Information about palliative care evidence for older Australians, with links to services and resources.

Palliative Care Australia

Provides information and resources, and can link you to your local palliative care office.

Respite care

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres

1800 052 222 during business hours
1800 059 059 for emergency respite

Provide information about respite services, which may be available at home, in a respite care centre or, in some cases, in a hospital or palliative care unit (hospice).

Support groups

Face-to-face groups

Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 or 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 or to care for someone with 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. Cancer Council has groups for advanced cancer, for carers, and for those who are bereaved.

Cancer Council Online Community

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

Download PDF Order free booklet Order free carers kit

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Questions about cancer?

Call or email our experienced cancer nurses for information and support.

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