Creating & Managing Your Support Network
As a caregiver, it is so important for you not take on too much. It may be helpful to think about what you can and can not do, then reach out to others for help to fill in the gaps. Accepting help from others is not always easy, but it keeps you healthy and lets others contribute time and skills. Having some time for yourself is key to your well-being as a caregiver. Below are resources that explain how to ask for and receive help, as well as useful online organization and communication tools.
What You Need to Know as a Cancer Caregiver
American Cancer Society
People often need a range of support services to stay healthy and be good caregivers, but they may not know where to go for help or how to accept help when offered. Some caregivers may need assistance on how to build a support network with other caregivers as well as how to find help from mental health professionals.
Caregiver Toolbox: How to Create a Caregiving Plan
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
This resource offers tips on how to ask for help, and how to organize help from others. This website offers a easy to use checklist that helps organize common tasks and needs.
Caregiving Tips: Asking for Help, Top Ten Ways to Help
Patient Resource Publishing
Practical tips for asking for help from others: how and what to ask for.
Adjusting to Being a Caregiver
National Cancer Institute
This website includes information on what you may experience when you first become a caregiver, including common concerns about asking others for help.
Offers online support groups, podcasts on a range of caregiving topics, and online booklets on caregiving.
So Far Away: Twenty Questions and Answers about Long-Distance Caregiving
National Institute on Aging
Being a Caregiver When Others Want to Help
American Cancer Society
Provides pointers for communicating with family and friends who want to help, but may not know what you need. Going in with a plan can take some of the pressure off you and lets others feel good about helping out.
Online Organization & Communication Tools
Lotsa Helping Hands
This is an easy website where friends and family can organize help for a loved one in need. Features include a care calendar to assign meal deliveries and coordinate rides to appointments. You can also keep friends and family up-to-date with weekly announcements.
An online website to organize meal drop offs.
A well-known community website that allows caregivers and their loved ones to post “updates” that can be seen by anyone who has registered to follow your blog. This allows you to update all of your family and friends at once rather than spending time reaching out to everyone individually.