As metastatic breast cancer progresses, care may need to be given in a hospital, hospice or palliative care unit. Some women decide they need some additional support for a short time to give their carers a break. This is called respite care.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 options for support outside the home for women with metastatic breast cancer
- Day centres: are often attached to hospitals, hospices or nursing homes and are available to give carers some ‘time out’. These centres are open during the day and often provide transport.
- Nursing homes: some nursing homes offer short- or long-term stays to give carers a break. They will charge a fee for the care provided.
- Hospitals: public and private hospitals can provide short- or long-term care. Access to a public hospital will depend on individual level of need and whether there are beds available.
- Hospices/palliative care units: specialise in the care of people who are living with and dying from cancer. They focus on controlling pain and other symptoms. Some people go to hospices for a short period to help control symptoms or to give their carers a rest. Some hospices also have accommodation available for carers. Some are public, some are funded by a charity and some are attached to private hospitals. Palliative care units may be wards in local hospitals.