by CanTeen07/12/2018

How to Ask for Help When Your Family is Impacted by Cancer

Asking for and accepting help is sometimes difficult. Family members and friends often want to support you, but don’t know how to, or are worried they might be intruding or bothering you.  

Asking for help is not a sign you can’t cope; it means you can reduce the pressure on your family and focus on taking care of yourself and spending time with your children.  

How to ask – and what to ask for 

Family and friends are usually keen to help, but don’t know how. So let them know what you need and give them something to do! 

Call a family meeting (or workshop over dinner) to discuss how everyone in the family can help, and prepare a list or roster. Some of the things your immediate family members can do to help include: 

  • household chores like cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing, paying bills 
  • driving you to appointments  
  • looking after younger siblings 
  • keeping people outside the family up to date 

Also make a list of things that friends and other people can do for your family – such as: 

  • cook a meal that can go in the freezer 
  • pick up groceries 
  • drive your child to school or after-school activities.  

There are also many organisations that provide practical help, like transport to treatment, home nursing care, or legal or financial advice. You just need to know who they are and what to ask for. The social work department at your treatment hospital is often a good place to start, or contact CanTeen on 1800 835 932 and our counsellors can point you to services to meet your needs.  

Also see Money matters and Dealing with Centrelink for advice on getting financial help. 


More advice/support 



Useful sites/resource