There’s Help for People Caring for a Loved One with Cancer

Free new resource available for cancer caregivers in honor of National Family Caregivers Month

NEW YORK--()--As more patients are being cared for at home, family caregivers are coming under increasing stress. The pressure to provide emotional and practical support is exacting a high toll on millions of caregivers:

  • Caregivers have higher rates of mortality than their non-caregiving peers.
  • Forty to seventy percent of family caregivers have symptoms of depression with about a quarter to half meeting the diagnostic criteria for major depression.
  • Many family caregivers report that caregiving has caused their physical health to deteriorate. A majority report they don’t go to the doctor as often as they should, eat as well as they should, or exercise as much as they did before caregiving.

In spite of their urgent need of assistance, fewer than fifteen percent of caregivers seek professional help in addressing their own physical, emotional and financial needs.

In honor of National Family Caregivers Month—and to encouraging caregivers to seek out support—the following companies have collaborated to provide a free online resource for cancer caregivers at HelpForCancerCaregivers.org:

  • Caregiver Action Network
  • CancerCare
  • Indiana University
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Michigan State University, College of Nursing
  • Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company
  • Onyx Pharmaceuticals, An Amgen subsidiary
  • WellPoint, Inc.
  • WellPoint Foundation

HelpForCancerCaregivers.org provides information to assist caregivers with practical matters like talking to healthcare providers, managing medication, dealing with challenges around employment, transportation, home safety, emergency preparedness, etc. Most importantly, HelpForCancerCaregivers.org helps caregivers care for themselves.

“One of the biggest challenges I faced as a caregiver was feeling I needed to be ‘on’ all the time, feeling that I had to be the one who remained strong and healthy,” shares Kathryn, a cancer caregiver. “I also had a very hard time socially because I was surrounded by people who loved both of us and supported us, but there was no one in the room who really understood what I was going through.”

Says John Schall, CEO of Caregiver Action Network, “Caregiver Action Network has been providing help for family caregivers for over 25 years. Help for Cancer Caregivers was our opportunity to work with industry leaders to meet the unique needs of an important subset of the family caregiving community: Those who are caring for a loved one with cancer.”

National Family Caregivers Month is an opportunity to advocate for those who provide care for loved ones. It is also a time to support and provide practical assistance to the family members playing this vital role.

About Help for Cancer Caregivers

Help for Cancer Caregivers is a unique collaboration of organizations with a shared goal of improving the health and well-being of the people who care for people with cancer. Help for Cancer Caregivers can be accessed for free at www.helpforcancercaregivers.org.

Caregiver Action Network

The Caregiver Action Network is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with special needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. CAN (formerly the National Family Caregivers Association) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge. Visit www.caregiveraction.org for more information.

CancerCare

Founded in 1944, CancerCare is a national nonprofit that provides free, professional support services to people dealing with the emotional and practical challenges of cancer. CancerCare provides counseling and support groups, educational publications and workshops, financial assistance, and other services. All services are provided by professional oncology social workers. Visit www.cancercare.org for more information.

Indiana University

Indiana University is a major, multi-campus, public research institution, grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. It is a world leader in professional, medical, and technology education. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is Indiana's premier urban university and home to the state's academic health science center. Visit www.iupui.edu for more information.

Johnson & Johnson

By caring for the world, one person at a time Johnson & Johnson aspires to help billions of people live longer, healthier, happier lives. This aspiration inspires and unites the approximately 128,700 employees across more than 275 operating companies in 60 countries. We embrace research and science—bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. For more than 125 years, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies has been committed to caring for people around the world. Visit www.jnj.com for more information.

Michigan State University, College of Nursing

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University is a member of the Association of American Universities and one of the top 100 research universities in the world. Michigan State University’s mission is to advance knowledge and transform lives. Visit nursing.msu.edu for more information.

Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company

Located in Osaka, Japan, Takeda is a research-based global company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to strive towards better health for people worldwide through leading innovation in medicine. Visit www.takeda.com for more information.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals, An Amgen subsidiary

Based in South San Francisco, California, Onyx Pharmaceuticals is an Amgen subsidiary, engaged in the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for improving the lives of people with cancer. At Onyx, we are grounded in three leadership hallmarks that guide how we manage our business and build value for patients and shareholders: innovation, patient-centeredness and stewardship. Visit www.onyx.com for more information.

WellPoint, Inc.

WellPoint is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. We believe that our health connects us all. So we focus on being a valued health partner and delivering quality products and services that give members access to the care they need. With nearly 68 million people served by our affiliated companies including nearly 36 million enrolled in our family of health plans, we can make a real difference to meet the needs of our diverse customers. Visit www.wellpoint.com for more information.

WellPoint Foundation

The WellPoint Foundation is the philanthropic arm of WellPoint, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of WellPoint, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that WellPoint, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. Visit wellpointcorporateresponsibility.com for more information.

Contacts

Caregiver Action Network
Lisa Winstel, Chief Operating Officer
Office: (202) 772-5053
Email: lwinstel@caregiveraction.org

Release Summary

Tips for family caregivers who may be under stress during Family Caregivers Month (November)

Contacts

Caregiver Action Network
Lisa Winstel, Chief Operating Officer
Office: (202) 772-5053
Email: lwinstel@caregiveraction.org