When someone is unwell carers provide support and direct care. There are ways that you can provide carers with help to continue with this important role.
Carers may care for a few hours a week or all day every day. This can be emotionally and physically demanding. Supporting and helping the carer will help both them and the patient.
Sometimes people don't get involved because they don't know how to help. Offer to help and take the lead from the person and their carer as to what would help, how and when. There are many simple ways that people can help.
Visit the Palliative Care Australia website for How can I support my friend/family member?
How can I support my friend/family member?
If you are an employer of someone who has taken on the role of carer, Carer Gateway lists ways you can help.
Visit the CarerGateway website: Supporting employees
12 ideas and links for working and caring
If you live in a different place to the person who is ill, you may find it difficult to contact health professionals or find out exactly what is happening. Ask the GP for a case conference or family meeting. This will help you to find out who is involved and for them to know who the family are. It can also help relationships within the family to have information from someone unrelated.
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.
Download Dementia Australia’s factsheet: Tips for caring from a Distance (87kb pdf)
Tips for caring from a distance (88kb pdf)
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.
You could try some of the following ways to support them:
The time that you are visiting can seem very short and you may feel pressure to get things done. Be aware that this can cause friction and may impact on your relationships within the family.
Visit the Cancer Council NSW website for more on Long-distance caring
Read the Department of Health's Aged care diversity framework
Explore additional resources
Last updated 02 August 2021