Check here for alerts

End of life care

Care at home

You may not need to move away from home to receive care, as end of life and hospice care can be provided at home. To find out what’s available locally, ask your GP.

Your GP can arrange for community nurses to come to your home and provide nursing care for you there. You may also need specialist care from community palliative care nurses who visit you at home to:

  • provide or arrange hands-on nursing or personal care, if you need it
  • advise on pain and symptom control
  • provide practical and emotional support for you and your carers at home

They can also involve other specialist professionals in your care, if their expertise is needed.

Your local authority’s social services department may provide a range of services and equipment to help you remain at home as you approach the end of life. This could include home adaptations, such as hand rails.

Read about what you can expect from end of life care.

Help to care for you at home

Hospices and palliative care services can also provide support for your partner, relatives, or anyone else who is helping to care for you at home. This support could be through community support groups or one-to-one advice.

Find out about the support available for carers.

Not everyone feels comfortable helping family or friends with personal care.

Marie Curie offers "how to" guidance on some basic care tasks, including helping someone to wash, take their medication, and stand and walk.

Macmillan Cancer Support's booklet Caring for someone with advanced cancer (PDF, 1.22Mb) includes information on ways your carers can help you manage your practical needs and symptoms at home.

Support from a hospice

You may want to carry on living at home, but visit a hospice during the day for the care and support you need. Going into a hospice for one or two days a week means you will be able to access more services than if you received care at home. This may include creative and complementary therapies and rehabilitation, such as exercise programmes. You can also meet other people who are receiving hospice care.

Check with your local hospice whether they provide transport to and from your home. Hospice spaces are limited, but you can talk to your local hospice to see what is available. 

Find hospice services near you.

Healthtalk.org has videos and written interviews of people talking about their experiences of end of life care at home.

Page last reviewed: 09/07/2015

Next review due: 09/07/2017

Services near you

Coping with a terminal diagnosis

Information on coping when you find out you may not have long to live. Includes emotions, depression and living with your diagnosis

Why plan ahead?

Find out why it is a good idea to plan ahead for your future care, and get ideas on how to go about it, who to tell and what to think about