Your extended family and friends

How they might be feeling

Your grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to be with you. They may not know as much about your illness as your parents or partner, and you might want to suggest they contact one of these organisations for more information and support.

Your friends might be in a similar position and they may not be sure of the best way to be with you. 

Try to explain to them the things they can do to help you practically and emotionally, or ask your parent or someone close to you to advocate on your behalf. You might want to discuss the ways you would like them to keep in touch, the kind of things you’d like to talk about, how you want them to treat you and what you still feel able to do and not do.

Communicating with your wider family and groups of friends

It can be very difficult to tell a large number of people about your illness and keep them up to date with what’s happening. You might want to consider communicating by email or through a social networking site like Facebook. You can read more about different ways of doing this in Communicating online.

Or you could ask a close relative to pass on information to the wider family and friends on your behalf.

Reviewed September 2015. Next planned review 2017.