Caregivers & Loved Ones Caring for someone with prostate cancer can be very difficult. You are not alone. Jump To Jump To Caregiver Guide Tips for Caregivers Support Groups Conversations with Caregivers Additional Resources The term "caregiver" describes the informal, unpaid role of taking care of a loved one with a serious disease or disability. Caregivers can be friends or family of someone with prostate cancer. They may take on many roles. When someone you love is diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may find that you quickly have to become an information specialist, financial advisor, medical translator, and a source for emotional support. ZERO celebrates the role you play and respects what you do to support your loved one with prostate cancer. Caregiver Guide ZERO's Caregiver Guide was developed with support and insight from caregivers of prostate cancer patients. It provides a wealth of information on prostate cancer treatment and side effects, self care tips, resources, and more. ZERO Prostate Cancer Caregiver Guide Caregiving at the time of diagnosis A prostate cancer diagnosis can be scary. There are usually no symptoms at the time of diagnosis, so hearing the words ‘you have prostate cancer’ may be a shock. It is okay to let yourself be upset and fearful. Let your loved one take the time he needs to work through the news while you provide support. Expand All Learn about prostate cancer Research as much about prostate cancer as you can. Your knowledge will help you talk to doctors, understand different treatment options, and be supportive while you make decisions together.A good place to start is our About Prostate Cancer page, where you'll find information about prostate cancer treatments, side effects, as well as prostate cancer resources. For every recommended treatment, it helps to know about possible side effects. It is also important to discuss the possibility of recurrence with your doctor. This knowledge may not soften the effects of prostate cancer, but it will help you face the future with courage and hope.Everyone’s cancer is different, so the best place to learn about your loved one’s specific prostate cancer is at your doctor’s office. Visit our Questions For Your Doctor section to view, print, or download resources to help you talk with the doctor. Consider a second or even a third opinion with both urologists and oncologists. Communicate and work together Even prostate cancer cannot destroy the bond between you and your loved one. You are stronger when you work as a team and open up to each other. It is important to communicate and support each other throughout the journey. Talk about your concerns with your loved one and show that you care.Be there with your loved one at the doctor appointments. He may need you to remind him what questions to ask, to keep notes, or simply to hold his hand. It may help you feel empowered and prepared for the future to make a treatment plan together. Be understanding and patient Know that you are not alone—and most importantly, ensure that your loved one knows that you are there for support.Your loved one may sometimes want to talk to his doctor alone so he can address his questions and fears without upsetting you. You are still an important part of his prostate cancer journey. Managing finances In addition to learning about the disease, you may also have to learn about managing the costs of treating the disease. Fortunately there are many resources available and people to help. Some ideas that could be helpful include:Be in touch with your insurance provider to learn about what is covered.Try to keep notes from conversations with the doctors, insurance, and other specialists.Keep in contact with your hospital’s social worker, patient navigator, or financial advisor to see if they have resources for financial assistance, payment plans, or reduced rates.Set aside some time every week to sort through your bills.You can also contact ZERO360, our free comprehensive support program that can help access financial resources and solve other financial and insurance issues relating to a prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.Check out our list of financial resources. The new normal In some cases, continuing care for prostate cancer simply becomes a part of a man’s life. In living with the disease, make a daily routine that works for you. Determine how best to adapt to this new normal. Many times when people are diagnosed with cancer they use it as an opportunity to make healthy life changes, such as adopting a more nutritious diet or increasing physical activity. Encourage your loved one to make healthy changes, which may help them have better outcomes and recover more quickly. Find support Cancer is tough to fight. Often you may not be able to do it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And when friends, family, and community members ask if they can do anything for you, say yes! Find support groups for caregivers below. Take care of yourself Set aside time in your schedule for activities that make you feel good about you. You are best able to provide your loved one with care when you are feeling good about yourself. Be kind to yourself and accept help from others. See this article for more on the importance of taking care of yourself and avoiding caregiver burnout. Caregiver Support Groups You provide emotional support to your loved one, but his journey can be tough on you, too. Consider finding emotional support for yourself in the form of a friend, counselor, or support group. There are many services and programs available to help caregivers. We encourage you to take advantage of these resources for yourself. Prostate Cancer Support Groups Caregivers with a partner who is newly diagnosed Attendees: Caregivers, family, partners Location: National (U.S.) – Virtual Meetings: Monthly, third Thursday of each month Time: 7:00 p.m. ET Leader: Tammy Holbert A Forum for Her Attendees: Caregivers, family, partners Location: National (U.S.) – Virtual Meetings: Monthly, fourth Monday of each month Time: 7:00 p.m. ET Leader: Mary Porter A Forum for Her Attendees: Caregivers, family, partners Location: National (U.S.) – Virtual Meetings: Varies Time: Varies Leader: Terri Likowski Play Video Close Conversations with caregivers: A town hall Caregivers play a pivotal role in the prostate cancer journey. ZERO’s Vice President of Patient Programs and Education, Shelby Moneer and a panel of caregivers engage in a casual conversation, sharing their experiences. Additional resources There are so many wonderful resources for caregivers, both at ZERO and beyond. Help and support for people impacted by prostate cancer American Association of Retired People (AARP) A guide designed to help develop and implement a caregiving plan for a loved one or friend which includes tips for organizing important documents; a roundup of federal and national resources; information on caring for yourself; and checklists, medication charts and contact lists. CancerCare Find online, telephone, and face-to-face support groups led by oncology social workers. You will also find one-hour workshops focused on caregiving, as well as monthly question and answer sessions with featured experts. Cancer Support Community Offers tips and resources for caregiving as well as an online, password protected support group. CaringBridge A free service where you can provide updates to family and friends. Family Caregiver Alliance Their family care navigator can help you find a variety of resources in your state, including services and government programs, disease-specific organizations, legal help, and general information. Help for Cancer Caregivers A resource on all aspects of the caregiver journey, including burnout and stress, finding help, dealing with practical matters, and self-care. Imerman Angels One-on-one peer support for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. Lotsa Helping Hands A free service where you can provide updates and get help from your private online community with meal deliveries, rides to appointments, and help with household chores. Triage Cancer Find resources for cancer caregivers on legal and practical matters like taking time off from work, managing family finances and medical bills, replacing lost wages, estate planning, and other matters.