Women with metastatic breast cancer who are less able to manage at home, may be able to access help.Available services will depend on location and individual circumstances. For information about services in your area, talk to your general practitioner, community nurse or call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.
Possible sources of help in the home for women with metastatic breast cancer
- General practitioner: may be responsible for ongoing care and can help arrange other support services at home.
- Social worker – can help find the right people to help at home.
- Community/district nurse: can provide help at home according to individual needs, such as bathing, changing dressings, giving medications and providing support.
- Breast care nurse/care coordinator: may be able to provide support and care at home.
- Occupational therapist: can provide practical advice and aids, such as walking frames, wheelchairs, shower chairs, or can recommend minor changes that make it easier to get around at home.
- Physiotherapist: can help with mobility and provide pain relief and massage. Some physiotherapists specialise in exercises for people with cancer or lymphoedema. To find a physiotherapist in your area, visit the Australian Physiotherapy Association website.
- Palliative care team: can help with control of pain and other symptoms and provide support for patients and carers.
- Home care: a range of public and private services are available for eligible women to help with things like cleaning, shopping, cooking, personal care and respite care for carers.
- Private nursing agencies: provide a 24-hour service in some areas to cover nursing care and practical support.
- Meals-on-wheels: deliver meals to people who cannot leave their homes (requires a referral from a health professional).
- Volunteer carers: volunteer carers can make home visits to chat or help with phone calls or letter writing, or just to be there.
- Church/religious groups: some church or religious groups provide support for their members with things like shopping.