Social care for people with cancer 

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, your treatment and medical care will probably be the first thing on your mind. However, there are other aspects of your life to think about, and it's important to know exactly what kind of assistance is available and where you can get it.

If you are finding it hard to cope with day-to-day life, talk about your needs with your doctor or nurse, who will refer you to a social worker. They will assess the kind of help you need (see below). 

Social care options

Care attendants

Care attendants can help with housework, dressing and washing, or even just keeping you company and giving your carer a break. Look into this as soon as you can, as many care attendants have waiting lists.

Carers Trust is an organisation that helps carers in the UK by providing access to breaks, information and advice, education, training and employment opportunities. Visit the Carers Trust website, or phone 0844 800 4361.

Meals on wheels

Contact your local council about its meals on wheels service. Financial assistance can sometimes be offered to help pay for this; to check if you are eligible, visit Directgov.


You may be eligible for Income Support, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Attendance Allowance. Get in touch with the Benefit Enquiry Line for more details, on 0800 882200 (textphone 0800 243355) or through the Department for Work & Pensions website.

Home adaptations

Occupational therapists provide a detailed assessment of your needs at home, making life easier by arranging equipment and making adaptations.

The aim is to create a comfortable and practical place to live during your treatment. This could mean anything from adding handrails around the house to installing a downstairs shower.


Page last reviewed: 10/07/2014

Next review due: 10/07/2016