Coming Home When Someone is Ill

You may not live near your family, as you or they, may have moved away.

Someone in your family may be caring for a person who is ill and will be with them most of the time, if not all the time. It is a difficult role to take on. It may not be easy to offer advice to this person. Offering to listen if they want to talk would be more helpful. You could also find out about services that can help them if they are finding something particularly difficult.

Family carers often suffer from physical tiredness and distress. This may be very upsetting for you if you are not nearby to help. You may have mixed emotions about this. You may feel guilt for not being there or relief at not having the same responsibility and disruption to your life.

Often a lot of fuss is made about your return, which can be upsetting to the person who has taken on the caring role. There may be little acknowledgement of what they have given up, so they may feel some resentment. The time that you are visiting can seem very short and you may feel pressure to get things done. This can cause friction and may impact on your relationships within the family.

When someone is deteriorating, time of death cannot always be predicted. It can take some hours, and sometimes longer, to return to see family and friends. You may not make it there in time if the person dies suddenly. This is something that you will need to discuss, and accept as a possibility. You may also return home in time, but the person may not die immediately as expected. You need to talk to a health professional about what you do in this situation.

Last updated 24 January 2017