Many people including your health professional team can help you to care for someone with a life limiting illness at home. Knowing what you can do and how to do this safely is important.
When caring for someone at home you will need to provide physical support to help the person with daily activities. As the illness progresses you will need to give more support. This may include personal hygiene and mobility. The person may not be able to get out of bed. It is important to know how to provide help without hurting yourself. Having reliable advice and guidance to help you in this role is important. There are resources on this page to help. CareSearch also has guidance on setting up for at home palliative care.
People with a life-limiting illness will have good and bad days. For many people being as independent and in control as they can be is important. They will have days where they need more help than on others. Some of the physical challenges you face may include:
Watch the Grampians Region Palliative Care Consortium Practical caring videos
A guide for carers video
You will also need to manage symptoms such as nausea, constipation, anxiety, breathlessness and fatigue. Palliative Care South East has a Carer's booklet with practical information and tips on what you can do to help. Sometimes the food and drink you offer can help to manage symptoms. Other times it might be helping the person into a more comfortable position.
Visit the CareSearch pages on Symptoms and Medicines to find out more on what to expect and what you can do.
Download the Palliative Care South EastCarer support kit
Carer support kit
You might want to know what foods to prepare. As a person's illness progresses their ability to swallow may change. Food they once enjoyed may not taste the same to them. They may lose interest in food. It can help to know what to expect so that you have time to prepare for these changes.
If you are unsure of something, ask your health care team. They are there to help with advice and equipment.
Download the Adelaide Hills Community Health Service guide on Diet and nutrition in palliative care (344kb pdf)
A guide for clients and carers
Video from Grampians Palliative Care
Visit the Better Health channel website: Providing practical end of life and palliative care at home
Visit the Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consortium website for carers information cards
Explore additional resources
Last updated 23 January 2023