Cancer Caregiver Resources

Caring for a loved one dealing with cancer takes energy, emotional balance, and at times physical strength. You may be wondering how to best support your loved one while still maintaining a sense of self. The resources on this page were recommended for caregivers by our team of RMCC social workers. If you don’t find what you are looking for, please contact one of our social workers who will be happy to provide further assistance. 

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COVID-19 Changes for Caregivers

We know COVID-19 has made a difficult situation even more challenging. Please know that we are doing everything we can to keep our high-risk patients and our staff safe by following public health guidelines. Because of this, we must continue to have strict visitor policies for physical distancing throughout the clinic. For our most updated visitor guidelines, please visit our Coronavirus Advisory page.

Support for Your Physical Well-Being

Maintaining your physical well-being and strength may seem impossible with all the time and energy it takes being a caregiver. You may need to intentionally schedule the time that you need to connect with your primary care provider or specialists to attend routine appointments. It’s important to follow up with your own health care needs and take care for yourself in order to continue to care for your loved one. You can do this by incorporating a self-care routine into your life. Self-care strategies can include maintaining a healthy lifestyle to improve your physical health, prioritizing sleep and making sure to get enough, eating healthy and nourishing foods, exercising regularly, and practicing relaxation exercises such as deep breathing or meditation.

The following resources can help you with ideas and resources for staying physically engaged with the world around you, providing you the strength to care for your loved one. If you need assistance with resources in your area, please contact your RMCC social worker.

  • 9Health Fair provides an opportunity for access to low-cost health care. They believe that “getting the care you need, when you need it, isn’t too much to ask.
  • Connect for Health Colorado: Find out if you are eligible for discounted health insurance.
  • LifeSpark: Provides free Reiki and Healing Touch treatments for you and your loved ones.
  • PEAK: Find out if you and your family members are eligible for Medicaid and or other public assistance programs.

Emotional Support

Being a caregiver can sometimes leave you feeling isolated and emotionally depleted. The following resources can provide you support and ideas for fostering a healthy emotional balance for all you do while caring for your loved one.

Our social workers are available to assist you by providing counseling and to connect you with appropriate resources in your area. Please contact your local RMCC location to be connected with a licensed social worker at your loved one’s treatment location during business hours. If you are experiencing an emergency please do not leave a message, but call 911.

Helpful Websites

Caregiver Support Groups

Family Respite to Promote Emotional Wellbeing
  • Domus Pacis - provides an opportunity for cancer patients and their loved ones to go on a retreat to the mountains and "escape from a life of cancer.”

Crisis Lines

Social Support

Connecting with others and acquiring time for yourself may seem impossible. Getting help with practical things can provide you with the gift of time.

  • Reduce stress, anxiety and isolation – Your cancer experience is personal. Let your family and friends know how you’re doing. Make life easier by assigning family and friends to help manage various responsibilities. If possible, assign one or two people to be primary contacts that can communicate important information about you and your loved one to others, or organize volunteers to help with meals, rides to treatment, errands, child care, pet care, and more. You may want to consider starting a private CaringBridge webpage or creating a community care calendar with Lotsa Helping Hands.

Meal Delivery

Transportation 

Cleaning

  • Cleaning for a Reason – professional cleaning services to provide basic house cleaning for women with cancer. Check website for availability.

Home Care

  • There are various types of home care support. Please discuss your needs with a member of your medical team for an appropriate referral.

Additional Information

  • Connect with an RMCC licensed social worker at your clinic location.
  • United Way - Dial 2-1-1 from a landline or visit their website for local information.

Caring for Your Spirit

Spirituality has different meanings for everyone, but what most people can agree with is that it can refer to the way an individual connects with and expresses meaning and purpose in one’s life. Sometimes as a caregiver it is difficult to have time to reflect on what is nurturing to you. Please feel free to contact your RMCC social worker to get information on local resources in your area.

Some helpful interventions include: meditation, guided visualization, relaxation techniques, journaling, spending time in nature or connecting with a spiritual care provider.

If you would like to connect with someone who provides spiritual counseling, often a good place to start is by contacting your local hospital and asking to speak to someone in pastoral care/chaplain services. They can connect you with a non-denominational chaplain who can assist you and/or connect you with support or someone in your area affiliated with an organization of your choice.

Helpful Resource to Find a Chaplain:

Ways to Provide Support and Be a Better Caregiver

As a caregiver, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to best support your loved one on this journey. While we recognize that each caregiver is as unique as each patient, here are some valuable ways you can support your loved one on both a practical and emotional level:

  • Practice self compassion: Caregiving is hard. Understanding that you are not a perfect caregiver overnight is important. You are learning along with your loved one about the best way to care for them. Give yourself a little grace.
  • Recognize limitations and boundaries are healthy: When you are caring for a loved one, sometimes it can be challenging to balance caring and managing your own needs. It is ok to take some time for yourself. It might even make you a better caregiver.
  • Learn to advocate: Understanding the world of health care can be challenging. Helping your loved one with phone calls, scheduling, and appointments can help take some stress off of their plate.
  • You are not alone —Engage your network: Utilize communication and organization tools to involve others in circles of care.

Additional Resources for Senior Cancer Caregivers

Caregiving as an older adult can pose numerous challenges. It can leave you feeling very isolated and confused about where to find help for both you and your loved one. The following resources can assist you in many aspects of your caregiving journey.

Meals for Senior Caregivers
Activities for Senior Caregivers
  • City of Thornton – Active Adult Center: The center is available to individuals 62+ and provides a variety of programs including fitness classes, special events, trips, outdoor programs, health screenings, and a daily meal program. *Discounts available for residents of the City of Thornton, non–residents are welcome. Phone: 303-255-7850 9471
  • Silver Sneakers: Low-Cost Fitness Program.
  • YMCA of Metro Denver: Programs for Active Older Adults. Phone: 720-524-2700; Locations throughout the Metro area. Offers a variety of wellness and fitness classes as well as day trips, enrichment programs, clubs, and activities.
Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)

This organization can be a wealth of information, resources, and support. Please contact your local AAA for more information:

**If your county is not listed above, please click here for a list of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) for the State of Colorado.

Other Resources

For support or any questions about the information listed on this website, please contact one of our Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers oncology (RMCC) social workers who will be happy to provide further assistance.