Many people who provide support or care for a friend or family member who is approaching the end of their life would not identify themselves as a ‘carer’. They likely just view themselves as a mum, dad, partner, son, daughter, friend or neighbour.
Often carers don’t consider their own needs, or what support they could benefit from. They might eventually find the help they need, usually through word of mouth, although many do not. It is important that carers do access support, as caring is a challenge for anyone regardless of their age, relationship with the person, or experience.
We believe that carers play an absolutely essential role in the journey of the person approaching the end of life, and they should be supported throughout. The government shares this view, as stated in its End of Life Care Strategy and Carers Strategy (both published by the Department of Health in 2008).
Sadly, the reality is often different, with many carers feeling unsupported and not included in decisions about the person’s care.
A number of freely-available resources have sought to change this, either by providing information directly for carers or by encouraging and equipping professionals and decision-makers to identify and address the needs of carers. Click on the links below the access the pages you are interested in: