good life, good death, good grief

Scottish Compassionate Communities Toolkit

End of Life Aid Skills for Everyone (EASE)

End of Life Aid Skills for Everyone is a course designed to enable people to be more comfortable and confident supporting family and community members with issues they face during dying, death and bereavement.

The course has been developed by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care.

Who is the EASE course for?

This course is for anyone who wants to be able to support someone with issues they face relating to death, dying and bereavement. This is likely to include:

  • People who might not currently have caring responsibilities but who wish to be equipped to provide basic support for friends, family or community members who are either approaching the end of life, or who are supporting someone who is.
  • People who are caring for family or friends whose health is deteriorating and who are likely to die.
  • People who expect to soon be caring for family or friends experiencing declining health and who are likely to be approaching the end of life.

What are the aims of the EASE course?

The course will aim to teach the basics of end-of-life care and address some of the fears and uncertainties frequently held by members of the general public so that they:

  • Are better equipped to provide informal support to friends, family and community members dealing with death, dying and bereavement.
  • Find it easier to deal with these issues when they have to face them themselves.
  • Know where to find further information and support in relation to these issues.

What does the EASE course cover?

The course does not provide counselling, and cannot address specific situations or problems raised by individuals. The course comprises four modules each lasting two hours:

Module 1: An Introduction to death in Scotland

This modules gives people an opportunity to grow more comfortable talking about death and dying, and explores common illnesses and patterns of decline. It looks at the roles of different professionals and institutions and the responsibilities and limitations of Scotland’s health and social care system.

Module 2: Serious illness and frailty

This module looks at some common issues that can arise towards the end of life and some of the emotional issues that can affect someone who is dying. It explores the emotional support a friend or family member can provide to someone who is dying. It also looks at what people can do to plan ahead to improve their end of life care experience.

Module 3: Realities of caring and dying

This module explores some of the common bodily changes that take place in the last few days and hours of life. It covers common treatments and medications that someone might come across, and expectations relating to what these treatments can achieve. This module also looks at the practical support a friend or family member can provide to someone who is dying.

Module 4: Caring for the carer

This module explores some of the issues that can affect people who are spending a lot of time looking after someone else, and where to get more information, help and support. It covers bereavement, emphasises the importance of self-care, and looks at how people can look after themselves and others they know who are carers.

How is the course structured?

The course includes group discussions, case studies, short films and handouts. We aim to provide a safe and friendly environment where participants can grow more confident supporting others going through these difficult times, and to think about how they cope with these issues themselves.

Who runs the course?

The ethos of the EASE course is one of peer learning and discussion. Each person who participates in the course brings with them their own unique life experiences, and as well as learning from course materials, participants will learn from each other. The pilot EASE courses will be facilitated by two Course Facilitators with experience of palliative and end of life care, bereavement and/or education/facilitation. Course materials have been developed by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care.

Get in touch

The course was initially developed to be run as a series of face-to-face sessions. However, we are currently quickly working to make it possible to complete the full course online, and hope to make this available in 2021. If you would like to receive more information about the course when it is available, please get in touch:


In the meantime, we have made available an introductory online education module for informal carers - An Introduction to End of Life Issues. More information about this module is available here: An introduction to end of life issues.


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