good life, good death, good grief

Supporting someone who might die at home

This is an extremely difficult time for everyone. We all know that covid-19 can have extremely serious effects, and that some people will die. Our health and social care services will care for people, no matter what stage of illness they are at, or where they are - whether that be at home, in a hospital or in a care home.

Sadly, there may come a time in someone’s illness when it is clear that they will not recover, that hospital intervention would not help them, and they are approaching the end of their life. At that point ‘caring’ means keeping them as comfortable as possible, and this can be done no matter where someone is - by hospital staff, community care team (District Nurse, GP, Social Care staff) and by the family or friends of the person who is ill.

If someone is critically ill with covid-19, and it has been judged that home is the best place for them to be cared for, there are several things a close family member or friend can do to help:

Though this is a difficult and distressing time, your presence and care will make a big difference to the person you are looking after. You might feel anxious, unsure, or worry that you will make things worse. However, please remember, that though it might not feel like it, everyone has an innate ability to support the people they care about. Being with the person (either close by or at the end of a digital connection) is one of the most important things you can do.

Further resources

Find out more about an online module introducing end of life issues here: Online education for informal carers: an introduction to end of life issues

Photo by Bruce Hong on Unsplash

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Bereavement Charter for Scotland