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Caregiving: Home

What Is a Caregiver?

Caregivers may be spouses, partners, children, relatives, or friends who help a patient with the activities of daily living and health care needs at home. Caregivers work with the healthcare team and have an important role in improving the patient's health and quality of life. Today, caregivers do many things that used to be done in the hospital or doctor's office by health care providers. Caregiving includes everyday tasks such as helping the patient with medicines, doctor visits, meals, schedules, and health insurance matters. It also includes giving emotional and spiritual support, such as helping the patient deal with feelings and making hard decisions.

The caregiver has the very important job of watching for changes in the patient's medical condition while giving long-term care at home. Caregivers can help plan treatment, make decisions, and carry out treatment plans all through the different parts of treatment. Their role changes as the patient’s needs change during and after cancer treatment.

It's important to remember that caregivers need help and emotional support too. The resources recommended in this guide offer tips for patient care as well as caregiver wellness.

Source: National Cancer Institute - Informal Caregivers in Cancer

Helpful Websites


Cancer.Net - Introduction to Family Caregiving - 12:20 minutes

This patient education video offers an introduction to family caregiving, with practical advice for coping with this unique role. It is led by Dr. Jyoti D. Patel, patient advocates Marc Heyison and Carole Siegel, and Dr. Lidia Schapira.


American Cancer Society: Caregiver Series: Communication - 4:50 minutes

Do you get anxious before your loved one’s medical appointments because of the amount of information you’ll receive? This video provides tips on how to make the most out of your time with your loved one’s doctor and care team.

This video is a part of the American Cancer Society's Caregiver Support Video Series. This series offers educational support to caregivers to assist with the everyday needs of cancer patients and provides self-care techniques to improve their quality of life. 


American Cancer Society: Caregiver Series: Stress Management - 5:00 minutes

Feeling overwhelmed and juggling multiple responsibilities on top of providing care to your loved one with cancer can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. Four tips for coping are provided to help lower your stress level and better cope when times get tough.

This video is a part of the American Cancer Society's Caregiver Support Video Series. This series offers educational support to caregivers to assist with the everyday needs of cancer patients and provides self-care techniques to improve their quality of life. 

Support Group

Caring for the Caregiver Class

This class is designed for relatives and friends who are caring for a loved one with cancer. Learn the importance of self-care and tools to assist in the caregiver role.

Schedule: For upcoming dates and times, see the Cancer Center calendar.

This program is offered free-of-charge and is facilitated by professional staff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, support groups are currently meeting online via Zoom. For more information including how to register, see the Cancer Center calendar or email Rosario Campuzano-Cortez at

Oncology Social Work Services and Counseling

Cancer can involve significant psychological, social, and economic challenges for patients and their families. How and if these challenges are addressed is an important aspect of a patient’s care plan. The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center employs clinical social workers who provide emotional and practical support for patients, their families, and their friends. Oncology Social Workers can provide advocacy and referrals as well as individual and family counseling services.

Services are available at no cost and are available to anyone in our community, regardless of where they are receiving medical care. 

For more information, call (805) 879-5690.  

Books at the Resource Library

These are just a few highlights from the Resource Library collection. Please click here to search our online catalog. For more information about the Resource Library and how to borrow materials, visit our website

Resources provided by the Cancer Resource Library are for informational purposes only. The information in these materials may or may not apply to your specific condition, and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider to review anything you learn through these resources.

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides comprehensive cancer treatment and support programs for patients and families. We are recognized for medical excellence, a strong clinical research program, and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention.

Cancer Resource Library | 540 West Pueblo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 | (805) 563-5807 | |