Life Companion

Being a Caregiver and a Partner

Giving care and support to a loved-one with Prostate Cancer can be a challenge.
Many caregivers put their own needs and feelings aside to focus on the person with cancer. This can be hard to maintain for a long time, and it’s not good for your health. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of others. 16

Practical support
Practical support


Whether you are a spouse, life partner or child, you may be needed to help with every-day practical tasks, depending on the ability of the person you care for: 16

  • Pill-taking, driving to treatment procedures.
  • Preparing food, shopping, running errands.
  • Help with physical challenges such as going to the bathroom.

Expect change
Expect change 16


The only thing we can be sure of, is that things constantly change. 

  • Expect that the roles in your relationship will change, and this change may cause some emotional distress for both of you. Talk about what you expect from each other and how you feel about it. 
  • Ask for help, especially with everyday tasks. Many caregivers feel obligated to take it all on themselves, and find themselves falling short, leaving them feeling guilty and tired. 
  • Expect that people might not want to help or get involved. 

Emotional support
Emotional support 4


It is normal for your loved-one to feel sad, fearful and angry.

  • Allow them to deal with these emotions and arrange help if they need it.
  • Remind them that asking for emotional help and support is not a sign of weakness – looking after their mental health is critical for good outcomes of his disease and treatment.
  • Consider reaching out to a support group and attending session with your loved-one.

Make time to take care of yourself -

  • Find time to relax.
    Take at least 15-30 minutes each day to do something for yourself. For example, try to make time for a nap, exercise, yard work, a hobby, watching TV or a movie, or whatever you find relaxing. Do gentle exercises, such as stretching or yoga. Or, take deep breaths or just sit still for a minute. 
  • Don't neglect your personal life.
    It's okay to cut back on personal activities, but don't cut them out entirely. For example, look for easy ways to connect with friends.
  • Keep up your routine.
    If you can, try to keep doing some of your regular activities. If you don't, studies show that it can increase the stress you feel. You may have to do things at a different time of day or for less time than you normally would but try to still do them.
  • Give yourself an outlet for your own thoughts and feelings.
    Whether it is talking to friends or family, someone in a support group, or having quiet time or writing it all down in a personal diary, make sure you find a way to deal with your own emotions as well.
Make time to take care of yourself

Tips for partners, caregivers and family 4

  • Agree on how you will make decisions.
  • Get ready for changes in routine.
  • Understand that there could be emotions from both sides pertaining to changes in ability.
  • Find out how treatments may affect moods, physical ability, and urinary, bowel, or sexual function.
  • It is normal to experience loneliness and fear—seek out support groups for partners and caregivers, in addition to encouraging the patient to attend a support group.
  • Keep children informed and answer questions honestly, but age appropriate.
  • Be realistic but optimistic in how you communicate to children.