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Practical Concerns

A cancer diagnosis affects every area of life – from driving, to concerns about work, to coping with the housework. Here you can find out more about what support is on offer.

More about Practical Concerns

When someone has cancer, it touches every part of their life – including some of the more practical areas. 
If you are unwell, you may need help with activities like cooking or dressing – especially if you live alone – and you may be entitled to help with transport to and from hospital. If you are caring for someone, you too may be entitled to some payments or respite care.
On the other hand, you may need advice on returning to work, your rights in the workplace, or travel insurance if you want to go on holiday.
Because cancer treatment can be lengthy, it can have a major impact on people’s finances. Specialist services offer advice on welfare and benefits, while pensions advisers can support you if you are thinking about retiring following your illness.
Whatever situation you are facing, you will probably also need emotional support too. Make sure you have someone to turn to during the difficult times.

If cancer treatment is not successful, if you are managing someone’s personal or financial affairs, or organising a funeral, legal advisers and end-of-life planning services can guide you through the process.

Help at Home
If you cannot manage daily household tasks like cleaning, cooking or caring for your children, contact your local authority social services department. They can assess your needs, and the needs of anyone caring for you. You may be entitled to practical help or financial support. You may also be eligible for meals on wheels or home adaptations. Your local cancer information service can help you find the right people to speak to. Ask your cancer team to put you in touch.
Travel Advice
If you need help getting about, you may be entitled to a Blue Badge for disabled parking. Talk to your local authority about applying. You may also get help with the cost of travel to hospital for your treatment. Talk to the hospital team.
End of Life Planning
If you or someone close to you is nearing the end of life, this will be a difficult time. End-of-life planning is available to guide you through the practical tasks and help you make decisions. You also need to make sure you have emotional support at this time. Later, you may need support with bereavement.
Work and Benefits Advice
Some people choose to continue working through their cancer treatment. Others take some time off, or extended leave. Either way, you and anyone caring for you may be able to claim some benefits during your illness. Whether or not you are working, welfare advisers can help you understand what benefits you are entitled to and help you with your employment rights.
Financial Planning
If you have a pension, it is a good idea to talk to a specialist pension adviser. If you are unwell, you may be able claim money in the short term. You can also find out whether your payments will be affected if you take extended leave and what would happen to your pension if you were to die. This can help you make decisions.