Often, the realisation that a person is going to die comes as a shock. Life as they knew it has suddenly changed. People often feel anxious, sad, and even angry after hearing the news. Many people, though, prefer to view their illness as something they live with rather than something they die from. When a person is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, is living life with the condition, or dies, it affects their entire social network, especially those who care for them.
Palliative care is designed to help the person with a terminal illness to live as well as possible and to stay in control of their life and future. Providing sufficient and quality support to the individual and their carer/s is crucial to the quality of their experience.
Caring for someone who is dying is an individual commitment that can be rich and rewarding, as well as challenging. Providing care at the end-of-life often involves heavy emotional strain, with caregivers potentially experiencing fatigue, resentment, social isolation, and stress.
Support is needed for caregivers so that they can provide care while also promoting their own health, wellbeing, and personal interests. We all have a role to play in caring for the caregiver. For example: