Most people would prefer to die at home. The involvement of their GP is critical in enabling this for the patient and the family.
Many palliative care patients wish for a home death, but despite this the majority of people continue to die in hospital
Keeping a dying person comfortable at home requires medical, nursing, and pharmacy input. The GP’s involvement in supporting families in this phase is crucial.
When a patient does not have access to a GP who will do home visits, assess, prescribe appropriate medications, and write a death certificate, then a home death may not be achievable.
Considering the following can help in planning for a home death. There is an interactive checklist (237kb pdf) that can be downloaded.
You may need to consider:
If the family has access to twenty four hour phone advice about symptoms or changes in the patient's condition, and that everyone providing care knows who to contact
CarerHelp, a CareSearch partner project, has many resources that will be helpful for families around caring for someone dying at home
Visit the CarerHelp toolkit
The Caring at Home project, a CareSearch partner project, has resources to support carers and families to help manage breakthrough symptoms safely using subcutaneous medicines for a person at home.
Visit the caring@home website
Download CareSearch's Dying at Home Checklist (237kb pdf)
Recommend CareSearch's At the End webpages for patients and carers
Read Canadian Virtual Hospice’s Considerations for a Home Death
Last updated 24 August 2021