5 ways to support someone with cancer

Thoughtful ways to help someone who’s living with cancer

Health insurance may help with cancer treatment, but it’s often the nearest and dearest that provides the most valuable support to people living with cancer. 

Here are five ways you can do just that.

  1. Support them emotionally
    Cancer can be emotionally challenging to live with, so whether you’re caring for someone full-time or supporting a friend or loved one who’s got cancer, it’s important to be there for them emotionally Footnote [1].

    This could involve:

    ●  ringing them for a chat or sending a card to say you’re thinking of them
    ●  being open and honest about how you feel about the situation – this will encourage them to do the same
    ●  maintaining a normal and balanced relationship, if possible
    ●  respecting their privacy

    Listening can also be hugely helpful. Sitting down with someone and letting them get things off their chest without interruption could be exactly what they need. Being a good listener, and not necessarily trying to provide answers and solutions, will make them feel understood and could help you tune into their feelings and emotions.
  2. Talk about things other than cancer
    Cancer might not be a cancer patients favourite topic of conversation...or yours for that matter! Why? Because cancer can be difficult to talk about.

    But more importantly, cancer patients are still living life and may want to talk about normal things. Hobbies, friends, the latest reality TV show that you can’t stop watching – they’re topics of conversation that create a nice normality for someone who may not be experiencing a normal life
  3. Ask how you can help
    Helping with everyday practical tasks can be a great way to support someone Footnote [1]. Why not check in with whoever you’re supporting and ask them if there’s anything specific they need help with.

    They may decline your offer, so always respect their decision, but if they accept you could always try and make it a regular thing.

    Practical things you could offer to do for them include:

    ●  doing a food shop
    ●  looking after their children or doing the school run
    ●  giving them a lift to or from the hospital
    ●  helping with cleaning or laundry
    ●  running any errands that need doing
  4. Help with medicines
     If you’re caring for or spending a lot of time with someone with cancer, ask if you can help with any medication they’ve been prescribed Footnote [2]. Make sure they take it as prescribed - knowing when and how (with or without food for example) it’s taken can be a practical way to support someone.

    It might seem like a simple thing to you, but it’s one less thing to worry about for them.
  5. Don’t do it alone
    Caring for or supporting someone with cancer can feel difficult. You may sometimes wonder what to say or do, but there is always support out there in the cancer care community.

    Cancer charities, such as Macmillan, have a wealth of assistance and online resources that can help guide the way you support someone. These charities will often talk to you in-person, but also offer online support like tips on how to care for someone practically, financial guidance if they’re struggling with bills or benefits, and treatment guides to help you understand what they’re going through.

    Your health insurance may also be able to help. We’re proud to work in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support – if you call their Cancer Support phone line you can talk directly to their specialist advisers who can help you with any questions you may have on cancer, cancer care and the support Macmillan can offer.

    Call 0808 239 6341 from 8am to 8pm to speak directly to Macmillan for support, it’s free to call from landlines and mobiles within the UK.

Use your cover to pay for cancer support

If you, a friend, or family member has health insurance with Aviva then you may be covered for treatment in the event of a cancer diagnosis.

We also include a number of wellbeing services to help support mental health, including a Stress Counselling helpline that’s staffed by trained counsellors ready to talk to you in confidence if you’re worried about what you or a loved one are going through.

So, whether it’s cancer or mental health related, you can make a claim on your health insurance, through MyAviva, over the phone, or online.

If we confirm that your claims meets the terms of your policy, we’ll step up and pay for the treatment directly, so you don’t have to worry about the fees.

It’s good to have one less thing to worry about. It takes Aviva.

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If you’d like a quote, we’ll ask you to provide us with a few personal details and the date you want cover to start. We’ll also ask you about customisable cover options, like if you want anyone else added to the cover, and about any medical history you may have.

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