Cancer Society support services
Your local Cancer Society provides confidential support and information. Call your local Cancer Society and speak to support services staff or phone the Cancer Information Helpline 0800 CANCER (226 237). Your local Cancer Society offers a range of services for people with cancer and their families. These might include:
- volunteer drivers providing transport to treatment
- accommodation while you’re having treatment
- support and information.
The range of services offered differs in each region, so contact your local centre to find out what is available in your area.
Cancer Society accommodation
“It’s like a home away from home. We do all our own cooking and washing. You still have to look after those things yourself. It’s not like hospital. It’s really good to meet people, talk about it, but you’ve got your own room and your own time.” Melinda
Cancer support groups
Cancer support groups offer support and information to people with cancer and their families. It can help to talk with others who have gone through the same experience. Support groups can also offer many practical suggestions and ways of coping. Ask your hospital or local Cancer Society for information on support groups in your area.
Nursing care is available at home through district or community nursing services. Your doctor or hospital can arrange this.
You might be entitled to help with household tasks during your treatment. For information, contact a social worker or the Community/District Nursing Service.
Palliative care services
Palliative care services may be offered by your local hospital or hospice. These services have particular expertise in dealing with symptoms and can offer emotional support for you and your family.
Help may be available for transport and accommodation costs. Your treatment centre or local Cancer Society can advise you about your entitlements.
Financial help may be available through your local Work and Income office. Work and Income (0800 559 009) has pamphlets and information about financial assistance for people who are unable to work. Short-term financial help is available through the Sickness Benefit and longer-term help is provided through the Invalids Benefit. Extra help may be available, such as accommodation supplements and assistance with medical bills.
New Zealand’s Health and Disability Code states that everyone has the right to access an interpreter during a medical consultation. Family or friends may assist if you and your doctor do not speak the same language, but you can also ask your doctor to provide an interpreter if using family members is inappropriate or not possible. A telephone interpreting service may be available.