Talking about cancer
posted by Cancer Nurse
11 September 2023

Planning for end of life care at home.

When a loved one is coming to the end of their life, it is a hugely emotional time.  The practicalities of caring for someone at home can be an added stress to a very sad situation.

Here is some advice that we give to our callers to help empower them in this incredibly challenging time.

Make a plan - roles and responsibilities can be shared. We recommend to put a Rota in place to share care and to give everyone a break.  Tasks such as cooking, cleaning and shopping can be assigned so everyone has a role.

Communicate with the medical team – arrange a family meeting, this will ensure everyone has the same information and also gives everyone an opportunity to ask any questions.  It will give clarity on what care can be expected and what the expectations are from the family.  A discussion about care options such as hospice or a palliative bed in a nursing home may be appropriate to talk about.

Care support at home is assessed individually, the medical team will advise the level of care available.  Bear in mind that while there is support available, the majority of the care taking rests on family members – this is an important consideration when deciding to care for someone at home at the end of their life.

Topics to consider when arranging care include

  • When and Who to contact if there are any issues, including when out of hours.
  • Night nursing care provided by the Irish Cancer Society.
  • Equipment (hospital bed, toileting aids, mobility aids).
  • Care package hours.

Our support line can be reached on 1800 200 700 if you would like to speak with a nurse about your unique situation.  We also have a booklet ‘A time to care’ that is available to download or post.

If you have any other tips or advice, please comment below

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