Ten ways to support a carer
If someone you know is looking after someone with cancer, it’s likely they’re not looking after themselves.
Our centre ambassador Charles has been looking after his husband Martin for nine years, here he offers his top tips to help you help anyone you know who is caring for someone with cancer:
- Tell them they are doing a fantastic job
- Treat them as an individual
- Be blunt when appropriate - say "you must be exhausted, give me something to do to help" - make it a closed question as they will not allow you to do anything
- Never treat them as invisible - know that they are just as vulnerable and exhausted
- Make them feel proud of what they do
- Be clear they have legal rights in terms of employment and support
- Let them be angry and negative, in fact, encourage this
- Get to know the friend or family member’s illness do not expect the carer to be the expert
- Know that they will be experiencing anxiety and depression. This should not be blanketed in terms of "you are under a lot of pressure" it should be explicit
- Never say "stay strong" or "be positive" these are the most diminishing statements of all.
If you care about them, we care about you
If you're supporting someone with cancer come and see us at your nearest Maggie's with or without the person you're supporting.