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If you’re caring for someone who will require care at the end of life, you might start to notice signs that their health is getting worse. This can be an uncertain part of the caring journey. It might make you wonder what is going to happen and what you are going to do when they are getting closer to dying.
One way to deal with this is to start planning for the future, which this pathway will help you to do. You can start to think about things like where the person should be cared for, future health care and how you can coordinate with family and friends. Having things in place now will help you to manage changes in the future.
There are also many practical things you can set up. Simple things such as a list of contacts, sorting out financial matters and having your questions ready to ask your doctor can help.
Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Regina Kendall gives some practical tips for home care at end of life
Palliative Care Doctor Mark Boughey talks about how to tell if a person is dying
The resources available below are relevant to this pathway. Most will have a PDF version you can print or save to your device. If you need help now, call the numbers listed under ‘Need help now?’.
Call 000 for emergency services and urgent assistance. If you need to talk, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Call Carer Gateway Contact Centre for support and services (1800 422 737 Mon to Fri, 8am to 5pm).
This pathway outlines resources and tools that can be used when preparing to care for someone coming to the end of their life. (pdf, 421kb)
Download pathway 3
This resource (pdf, 577kb) provides a list of questions that you can use when you meet with your doctor or health care team.
Having a contact list (pdf, 605kb) means all the details are together when you need them. You can also put together your emergency contacts. It can be handy to keep this on the fridge.
Use this resource (pdf, 123kb) to keep a record of all of the medications that are part of the care regime and for some tips on handling medications.
It is important to speak to the person you are caring for about their wishes for end of life. This process is called advance care planning, which is explained in this factsheet from Advance Care Planning Australia.
Many people may be helping provide care and social support. A diary (pdf, 656kb) can help you stay on top of all the visits.
Taking care of yourself is important if you are going to be able to care. Read the tips and make a plan (pdf, 105kb).
Our factsheet summarises practical tips for managing common symptoms at end of life (pdf, 150kb). The Carer Library has a range of links that discuss common symptoms and how to manage them.
Thinking about financial matters (pdf, 260kb) is an important part of being prepared. MoneySmart details the key documents you need.
To assist you to decide whether or not to care for the person at home, we have put together a list of things to consider. Find out more.
Watch Mark Boughey and Regina Kendall talk about end of life issues.
This module covers:
Answering a quick set of questions can help you identify what you feel most concerned about and can point you to helpful resources.