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Hospital  >  Care Programs  >  Odette Cancer Program  >  Patient & family education  >  Caregivers pathfinder

For caregivers

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Caregiving can be rewarding. It can also be hard and stressful. It is important to take care of yourself so that you can better care for your loved one with cancer.


videosVideos and podcasts

Hospice Toronto
Listen to "Talking Care: A Caregiving Journey Radio Show" online at (click on Talking Care Radio Show).

Caregiving Matters
Watch videos on topics specific to family caregivers at (click on Videos) or listen to "Conversations that Matter" on your smartphone / tablet (search for Caregiving Matters in the Podcast app).

Cancer View Canada
Watch "The Truth of It" video series online at (click on for caregivers).

Saint Elizabeth
Listen online at (click on Caring for Family → Podcasts).

Cancer Care (US-based)
Listen online at (click on Listen to Workshops) or on your smartphone / tablet (search for Cancer Care in the Podcasts app).

classesDrop-in sessions and classes

These free drop-in sessions and classes take place in the Odette Cancer Centre for patients and caregivers.

Please pick up a calendar from the PEARL (T-wing, 1st floor, by main reception) or go to (click on My workshops and classes).

  • Introduction to Chemotherapy
  • Breathe Easy!
  • Clinical Trials and Your Care
  • Art Therapy
  • Ask a Radiation Therapist
  • Lymphedema
  • Tips to Quit Smoking
  • Early Menopause
  • Ask a Social Worker
  • Ask a Pharmacist
  • Ask a Nutrition Expert
  • Ask a Nurse (RN)

Living Life to the Full for Caregivers 55+


Living with Cancer: A guide for people with cancer and their caregivers (Canadian Cancer Society)

  • Please go to or drop by the PEARL (T-wing, 1st floor, by main reception) at Odette Cancer Centre to pick one up. 

When Someone You Know Has Cancer (Canadian Cancer Society)

  • Please drop by the PEARL (T-wing, 1st floor, by main reception) at Odette Cancer Centre to pick one up. 

Caring for the Caregiver (National Cancer Institute)


You can borrow these books from the Odette Cancer Centre / Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Please visit the PEARL Library (T-wing, 1st floor, by main reception) or call 416.480.4534 for more information.

  • When the Focus is on Care, 2005
  • Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help your wife (& yourself), 2001

quick tipsQuick tips and strategies

Caregiving can be rewarding. It can also be overwhelming and stressful. It is important for you to take care of yourself so that you can care for your loved one during this time. The Mayo Clinic has developed some ways to help you better manage caregiver stress.

  • Accept help from other people. Make a list of ways for other people to help you. They could help by picking up groceries, cooking or bringing meals, or taking the person you are caring for out for a walk.
  • No caregiver is "perfect." It's normal to sometimes feel guilty but trust that you are doing the best you can and are making the best decisions, given the situation.
  • Set realistic goals. Make lists and prioritize tasks. It's okay to say no to requests that are not a priority, such as hosting holiday meals.
  • Seek social support. Set aside time each week to connect with family and friends who can offer non-judgemental emotional support. Support groups can provide validation, encouragement, and practical tips that have worked for others in the group.
  • Community caregiver resources. Many communities have caregiver information and resources that you may find useful. Please see the "Support Services" section below to connect with local resources. 
  • Take care of yourself. Set personal health goals such as maintaining a good sleep routine, being physically active each day, eating well, and drinking plenty of water. Don't hesitate to tell your doctor about any concerns that you are dealing with as a caregiver.

Original article:

Support services

Odette Patient & Family Support

Telephone: 416.480.4623
Location: TG-230 (T-wing, ground floor)
Free services to help you with stress, worry, financial concerns, and with daily activities, as you care for your loved one with cancer.

Canadian Cancer Society

Toll-free: 1.888.939.3333
Free services that includes peer support, support groups, online communities, a telephone cancer information service, and the Wheels of Hope Transportation Service.

Cancer Connection (Canadian Cancer Society)

An online community for people with cancer and their caregivers to share experiences and build relationships with others.

Smart Patients

An online community where patients and caregivers learn from each other.


Telephone: 416.645.6000
Location: Toronto
Services for caregivers including individual support, group support, peer support, and more.

Canes Community Care

Telephone: 416.743.3892, ext. 243
Location: Toronto
Free services for caregivers including individual support, advocacy and resources, and assisting with a variety of social and emotional issues.

St. Paul's L'Amoreaux Centre (St. Paul's Community Services and Housing)

Telephone: 416.493.3333
Website: (click on At Our Centre → Counselling and Support)
Location: Scarborough
Free support groups for older adults and caregivers, including cancer support groups, caregiver support groups, and more.

Yee Hong

Telephone: 416.321.6333
Location(s): Toronto, Scarborough, Markham, Richmond Hill and Mississauga
Caregiver support and education for the Chinese speaking community.

Better Living Health and Community Services

Telephone: 416.447.7244, ext. 541
Location: Toronto
Free support groups, peer support groups, professional bereavement counselling and respite for caregivers.

Gilda's Club Toronto

Telephone: 416.214.9898
Location: Toronto
Free support groups including a Friends and Family Support Group.

Hearth Place Cancer Support Centre

Telephone: 905.579.4833
Location: Oshawa
Free support services, emotional support, and wellness programs including a caregiver support group for family and friends.


Telephone: 1.877.499.9904
Location(s): Several including Westerkirk House (on the Sunnybrook campus)
Free programs and services for both patients and caregivers and for caregivers only.

more infoMore information

Service Canada – Forms of Assistance

  • As a caregiver, you may be eligible for various forms of assistance from the Government of Canada.
  • Please go to (click on Services for you → Being a caregiver) for more information.

Ontario Ministry of Labour

Canada Revenue Agency

Power of Attorney

  • This allows a person to act on behalf of another.
  • Please call 1.800.366.0335 or go to (click on Popular Topics → Powers of Attorney) for more information.   

Advanced Care Planning

While this information may be useful, it is intended for educational purposes only. Please continue to ask your health care team if you have questions or concerns. For any other inquiries, please contact us at


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