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Family and friends

If a member of your family or a friend, or someone else you know is living with cancer, this group is the place to share your feelings and get support.

Ideas of how to care for the carer

Posted by


im new to the group and am looking for some advice about how to support my mum and dad.

My Mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a few months ago and is currently having chemo. The cancer and diagnosis has hit her like a tonne of bricks and her anxiety and stress is through the roof. She has recently taken up some CBT sessions, so hoping that will help her.

My dad however, who supports my mum pretty much 24/7 is struggling with coping with my mums extreme emotions and anxiety. He has been fantastic at caring for her but the stress and anxiety is starting to take its strain. I have helped out as much as possible in order to give my dad a break, however a lot of my mums anxiety relates to not allowing my dad to go too far away and needing him on hand all the time, plus my mum is anxious about seeing other people or going out with her low immunity from chemo.

My dad isn’t very good at taking advice or seeking support as he very much has a just get on with it approach, and I think he feels that as he isn’t the one with cancer he doesn’t need help, however I can see that it is all taking its toll. 

Any advice would be great. Thank you.

Posted by

Hi , sorry to hear about your mum and the effect you see her cancer having on your dad and of course in turn you. Chemo can be a really quite challenging time and there are plenty of people on here who can share tips on how to cope; my wife's cancer is quite different and I can well remember my own struggles until I got help.

We do have quite a lot of information on I'm looking after someone with cancer that can be helpful; sometimes just knowing you are not alone can be helpful.



Posted by

Hi sorry about this. You're all having a difficult time. It's very challenging for a carer to admit they need any support or care themselves. You're so astute to notice your dad's unspoken strain and to seek support for him. Hopefully you're looking after your wellbeing at the same time?

A problem shared is good advice and it sounds like you're doing all you can to help.

The respite of having even just an hour or two to spend on dad being dad is so important, as long as he doesn't spend that time doing the caring jobs he needs to get done away from home.

You know your dad of course and you'll have a way of expressing to him that you can see he is feeling stressed. Sometimes it can help just to have someone acknowledge the hardship of the situation.

Could you talk to him about what he enjoys and facilitate a short time for him to get that space? 

How could you involve your mother in that discussion either before or after it occurs? Perhaps if dad got mum's blessing he might feel more relaxed about having a breather here and there?

Are there any local groups that could offer more advice about local support for carers like your dad? 

Good luck. Thinking of you.