Becoming a caregiver often impacts relationships. A cancer diagnosis affects the established roles caregivers may have with their partner, parent, friend, dependent or adult child or sibling, and this can be a challenging adjustment. The effect of cancer on your relationships will vary, and the impact often depends on what your relationships were like before the cancer diagnosis. Some caregivers find the opportunity to care for someone strengthens the relationship with the person they are caring for. For others- particularly those who had a strained relationship before the diagnosis- the pressure of a cancer diagnosis, treatment and the demands of caring add further tension. Below are some resources that may help caregivers understand and manage some of these changes.

Talking with Family & Friends
Cancer.net
An overview of how cancer can put a strain on relationships. It guides caregivers through some of the potential changes in a way that can help you relate to specific family members and friends.

Help for the Caregiver
National Cancer Institute
Suggests incorporating “family meetings” as a strategy to help members of a patient’s healthcare team and family work together effectively.

Caregiving & Sibling Relationships: Challenges and Opportunities
Family Caregiver Alliance
Features tips for sharing caregiving responsibilities with siblings, which can be challenging when caring for a parent with cancer.

Sharing Responsibilities
Cancer.net
Information on the importance of developing strategies for families to recognize and discuss how they react to stressful events. It emphasizes tactics for sharing the responsibility of caregiving, and organizing that process to help resolve caregiving conflicts.

How Relationships Change
Cancer Council Victoria
Strategies for how caregivers can work through challenging adjustment periods.

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