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End of life issues

Carers and end of life care

Caring for someone with a long-term condition or illness can last a few weeks or months or for many years. You may need to consider a range of options so you can fulfil their wishes and ensure they receive the best care possible at the end of their life.

Deciding whether nursing or hospice care is best can be difficult. You may also find it difficult to understand the many forms of treatment available.

When the person you care for dies, you not only lose a loved one, but may also lose a sense of purpose as your caring role ends. Health and social services professionals are now more aware of this impact.

Many carers are helped through this period by friends and relatives. Some may feel they also need the advice, help and support of others. 

This section provides information to help carers who need to know more about:

You can also find information on Care and support about your benefits after the person you are looking after dies.

Bereavement: life after being a carer

When the person you've been caring for dies, there is support available to you. In this video, former carers discuss how they coped with their grief and found a new purpose in life.

Media last reviewed: 14/12/2012

Next review due: 14/12/2014


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The 2 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

gina at choices said on 16 December 2012

recently i thought a bit about end of life care etc. it may again seem morbid but in the event i was dying there are things i wouldnt want done, like resusscitation in some instances
and things i find unacceptable, like continually prolonging
some conditions that are degrading in life let alone death.
but i was thinking couldnt we manage such things online
with our pattient numbers ? we all know what were doing and/or mean, why not just do it nationally without all the
bits of paper, its aso more comforting to think i just did my own on my records and know thats the end of it. actually i
wouldnt want the playing about with some things, unless cures existed, and would rather die in some circumstances naturally ill if you see what i mean.

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connor1960 said on 17 April 2010

I have a long term illness and have already prepaired and paid for my own funeral service etc, this is due to the fact that, the amount of running around after my father passed away was surprising, so I decided the least i could was to take some of the burden away, also, to have some input into what happens to me when i have gone. i have chosen the music, coffin, everything, some will say it's morbid, maybe it is, but i would like to know that at least i will have a decent send off. now it's just a matter of enjoying life until the day comes, why be unhappy, it comes to us all in the end.


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Page last reviewed: 28/07/2014

Next review due: 28/07/2016

Call Carers Direct on 0300 123 1053

Confidential information and advice for carers.

Lines are open 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays), 11am to 4pm at weekends. Request a free call back or an interpreted call back in one of more than 170 languages including ربي, বাংলা, 中文, Français, ગુજરાતી, Polski, Português, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Soomaali, Español, Türkçe and .اردو.

You can talk to an adviser live online or send a query by email.

Find out more about the Carers Direct helpline.

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Where you can receive your care

Find out your options for where you can receive end of life care: at home, in hospital, in a hospice or a care home