Carer support

Tips for looking after yourself Getting support Carers Assessment Devon Carers Alert Card Financial advice and information for carers PALS- Patient Advice and Liaison Service North Devon Hospice Cancer Information & Support Clinic SeeHear

Are you a carer?

You are a carer if you give any unpaid help and support to someone with cancer who could not manage without your help. This includes a partner, family member, friend or neighbour.

You may not see yourself as a carer …………you may think you are just helping out. Recognising you are a carer can be an important step in getting the support you need.

Are you looking after someone with cancer?

Being a carer for someone can mean:

  • giving emotional support
  • helping with everyday tasks
  • driving them to appointments
  • talking to other people on their behalf, such as health and social care professionals
  • helping with personal care

Caring for someone is extremely demanding physically and is emotionally tiring especially when they are a loved one. In the long run it will help you both if you look after yourself as it may affect your own health and your ability to care.  Cancer affects family and friends too. Get tips on how to support someone with cancer and how to take care of yourself.

Tips for looking after yourself:

  • Eat well – try to eat healthily and have regular meals.
  • Be active – this could be a short walk or more structured exercise, it is good for both your physical and emotional wellbeing.
  • Get enough sleep – this can be difficult if you are worrying, talk to your doctor about it if it is a problem.
  • Talk to other friends or family about how you’re feeling, sharing your feelings can help you in the same way it can help the person with cancer.
  • Take breaks – when you’re caring for someone especially someone you love it is extremely tiring, you will be able to cope better after a few breaks.

Getting support

When you’re looking after someone with cancer you might have extra needs such as financial or physical ones.

Perhaps you have had to give up work to care for someone or maybe you need a break from caring as things are getting too much. Whatever your situation, there is support available.

For more information please visit

See also Finance and Work section on the LWBC webpage

Remember you are not alone!

Carers Assessment

  • work out whether you have needs which are eligible for specific social care support
  • give reassurance to you and the person you care for

After the Carers Assessment, some people find that it helps them to prioritise their own needs and look after themselves better.

To ask for an assessment telephone Devon Carers on 03456 434 435

For further information for carers please got to the Devon County Council website HERE

Devon Carers Alert Card

Have you ever worried what might happen if you suddenly became ill or had an accident whilst you were out?  How would you let people know that someone is dependent on you for care? The Devon Carers Alert Card gives you the peace of mind that steps are taken to ensure the safety of the person you care for.

Why get an Alert Card?

The Alert Card is designed to be carried in your purse, wallet or handbag.  A handy credit-card size, it identifies you as a carer so that if you find yourself in an emergency situation where you are unable to inform people yourself, the card will be used to alert a 24-hour emergency call centre that the person you care for might need help.

It has been agreed with Devon & Cornwall Police that they will recognise the Devon Carers Alert Card as identification for being an unpaid carer.

There are also other benefits to having an Alert Card, for example free parking at some hospital sites(not NDDH) and  discounts on food.

For up-to-date details on the benefit of having an Alert Card click HERE

For further information for Devon Carers  please click on the link HERE    

Devon Carers logoDevon Carers
Westbank Healthy Living and Community Care Centre,
Farm House Rise,
Devon, EX6 8AT

Telephone:  03456 434 435

Financial advice and information for carers

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit paid to a disabled person, or someone with a long-term illness or health condition.

Macmillan/Citizens Advice Financial Advisors can help you with a claim. Please contact your local Macmillan Financial Advisor for Torridge, North, Mid and West Devon for an appointment on:

Telephone: 0845 894 9567

macmillan logoCalls will cost 2p per minute plus your telephone company’s Access Charge.

The line is staffed Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9.30am until 5pm.


Anyone who receives PIP can choose how they spend their payment.

The payment is not means-tested and the amount you receive is determined by how your condition affects you, not by the condition itself. The PIP is made up of two sections – daily living and mobility: standard and enhanced. You can find more detailed information about PIP and how to claim the payment at:

PALS- Patient Advice and Liaison Service

The Northern Devon Healthcare Trust’s PALS team can advise on what support is available to cancer carers, such as financial help or parking costs.

How you can access the service:

  • Telephone 01271 314090
  • E-mail:
  • In person at the Patient Advice & Liaison Desk on Level 2 at the North Devon District Hospital.
  • By approaching any member of staff at North Devon District Hospital, Community Hospitals, or your GP surgery and they will be happy to put you in touch with the PALS Team.

North Devon Hospice

The North Devon Hospice has been around for 35 years and continues to support patients with cancer and other long term conditions. They believe in being there for all the family, including being there for children. If you are affected by a life-limiting illness, there is a range of care and support available to you.

Please click on the link below for further information on North Devon Hospice Carers’ Support Group and 1:1 Counselling  and  Bereavement Support HERE

Cancer Information & Support Clinic

cancer information

Cancer Information and Support Clinics are not like the conventional outpatient appointments but a group of people with similar health concerns meeting in one room, usually away from the hospital. There are presentations and talks on different topics by a range of health professionals and patient advocates on common concerns and share lived experiences of living with and beyond cancer. These include (but not limited to) advice around exercise and keeping active, looking after mental health, complementary therapies, support groups and the NHS England Personalised Care package.

The appointments are not just for the cancer patient themselves but also for the partner, family member or carer responsible for looking after them during their illness.

If the person who you care for does not want to or, is unable to come along to the session, it doesn’t mean that you can’t come along by yourself, your circumstances permitting. Please ask the cancer nurse specialist or keyworker looking after your loved one and will make sure you are sent details of the next clinic.

Alternatively contact the Living With and Beyond Cancer team: 

Living With & Beyond Cancer Team

Seamoor Unit , North Devon District Hospital, Raleigh Park , Barnstaple Devon  EX31 4JB

Tel: 01271 335934 or 01271 349117


Carers’ Support Group

The support group has been set and is run by the Macillan Cancer Care Counselling Team and  takes place at the Fern Centre on the last Wednesday of the month at 11.30am -1.30pm. Please call The Fern Centre for more details on 01271 311855.

Carers’ Pamper Day, in collaboration with Petroc College, Barnstaple

pamper daySpend the morning or afternoon in the company of others in similar caring situations, being looked after by the Beauty Therapy students (overseen by their tutors)at Petroc College Lifestyle Centre. There are 10 spaces available at each session and you can choose two out of 3 FREE treatments on offer…….then sit back and relax! The morning and afternoon sessions overlap at lunchtime when the Catering Dept. offer a delicious lunch for £5. This is a chance to meet and chat(or not as you may not feel like it) or have browse around the stalls set up in the foyer with relevant information for carers.

The group pictured above with their ChemoHero goodybags are some of the carers  that came to the first Pamper Day in March 2020. It is hoped that this is can offered twice a year but we are waiting for confirmation from the college.

The sessions are  open to men as well as women as there is a lovely barber’s salon with keen students and enthusiastic tutors waiting for you!

If you would be interested in attending please email the Living With and Beyond Cancer team on  to register interest. We look forward to hearing from you.


The See Hear Centre, part of the local charity Living Options Devon, which is a free resource for people with sight of hearing loss. They provide equipment demonstrations and loans where you can ‘try before you buy’. The team provide practical information for those with hearing and visual impairment.

Opening times – 9am – 5pm Tuesdays, other days by appointment only:

19a Alexandra Road,
EX32 8BA

Telephone: 01271 373236
Mobile / text: 07831 515809


Last updated: September 23, 2020