What It Takes to Be a Caregiver

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To learn more about caregiving and coping

Here is more information you might find helpful. You also can order free copies of our documents from our toll-free number, 1-800-227-2345, or read them on our website, www.cancer.org.

About caregiving

What You Need to Know as a Cancer Caregiver

Caring for the Patient With Cancer at Home (also in Spanish)

Distress Checklist for Caregivers

Coping Checklist for Caregivers

Coping with cancer and treatment

After Diagnosis: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)

Distress in People With Cancer

Anxiety, Fear, and Depression (also in Spanish)

Choosing a Doctor and a Hospital (also in Spanish)

Talking With Your Doctor (also in Spanish)

A Guide to Chemotherapy (also in Spanish)

Understanding Radiation Therapy: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)

A Guide to Cancer Surgery (also in Spanish)

Nutrition for the Person With Cancer During Treatment (also in Spanish)

Sexuality for the Man With Cancer (also in Spanish)

Sexuality for the Woman With Cancer (also in Spanish)

Advanced Cancer (also in Spanish)

Children and family members

Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With Diagnosis (also in Spanish)

Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With Treatment (also in Spanish)

Job, insurance, money, and legal issues

Financial Guidance for Cancer Survivors and Their Families: In Treatment (also in Spanish)

Health Insurance and Financial Assistance for the Cancer Patient (also in Spanish)

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (also in Spanish)

Americans With Disabilities Act: Information for People Facing Cancer (also in Spanish)

What is COBRA? (also in Spanish)

Advance Directives


Your American Cancer Society also has books that you might find helpful. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit our bookstore online at www.cancer.org/bookstoreto find out about costs or to place an order.

National organizations and websites*

Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information and support include:

Just for caregivers: information, support, and respite

National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA)
Toll-free number: 1-800-896-3650
Website: www.thefamilycaregiver.org

    Offers a free caregiver welcome kit that covers things like how to hold family meetings, practical skills, online support, and www.lotsahelpinghands.com – a volunteer coordination service for friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors to help loved ones in need. The program lets a chosen “coordinator” and helpers sign up on an easy-to-use, private group calendar to help with meals, rides, and other tasks needed for life to run smoothly during a crisis.

National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC)
Website: www.caregiving.org

Provides information and other resources focused on caregiving issues, as well as www.familycaregiving101.org, a source of answers, new ideas, and helpful advice for caregivers.Well Spouse Association (WSA)
Toll-free number: 1-800-838-0879
Website: www.wellspouse.org

    A national, non-profit membership organization (dues are charged) which provides emotional support for spouses and partners of chronically ill and/or disabled people.

Caregiver Action Network
Telephone: 202-772-5050
Website: www.caregiveraction.org

    Supports and educates family caregivers, helps them connect with other caregivers; and helps them become their own advocates. Membership is free to caregivers.

Medicare: Caregiving
Website: www.medicare.gov/campaigns/caregiver/caregiver.html

    Fact sheets and information for caregivers. Choose “What caregiver support is available in my area?” for information on the Medicaid Cash and Counseling program that can pay some caregivers for their time.

National Respite Locator Service
Website: www.respitelocator.org

    Helps caregivers and professionals find respite services in their state and local areas so that they can take short-term breaks from caregiving

Legal and mental health helpAmerican Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Telephone: 703-838-9808
Website: www.aamft.org

    Sponsors www.therapistlocator.net which provides referrals to local marriage and family therapists. The site also contains educational materials on helping couples live with illness, as well as other issues related to families and health.

Cancer Legal Resource Center
Toll-free number: 1-866-843-2572 (1-866-THE-CLRC)
TTY: 213-736-8310
Website: www.cancerlegalresourcecenter.org

    A non-profit program of the Disability Rights Legal Center offering free and confidential information and resources on cancer-related legal issues such as insurance, disability, discrimination, child custody, residency, and more to cancer survivors, their families, friends, employers, health care professionals, and others coping with cancer.

Information and support for people with cancer and their families

Cancer Hope Network
Toll-free number: 1-877-467-3638 (1-877-HOPENET)
Website: www.cancerhopenetwork.org

    Volunteers provide free and confidential one-on-one telephone support for people with cancer and family members.

Cancer Support Community (was Gilda's Club)
Toll-free number: 1-888-793-9355
Website: www.cancersupportcommunity.org

    Provides support for those living with cancer and their loved ones. Offers information, stress management, and online support groups led by professionals, including some in Spanish; has a special sub-site (http://grouploop.org/) for teens and their parents.

Toll-free number: 1-800-813-4673 (1-800-813-HOPE)
Website: www.cancercare.org

    Free professional support, such as phone counseling, online support groups, and educational materials, for people with cancer, their loved ones, and caregivers. Also offers CancerCare for Kids at www.cancercareforkids.org or CancerCare’s main number, above. This program is for kids with a parent, sibling, or other family member who has cancer. It offers practical support, education, and counseling to parents and children. Spanish also available.

National Cancer Institute
Toll-free number: 1-800-422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER)
TTY: 1-800-332-8615
Website: www.cancer.gov

    An excellent source of up-to-date information about cancer for patients, families, and caregivers.

*Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society.

No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

Last Medical Review: 03/05/2014
Last Revised: 04/18/2014