Supporting the needs of unpaid carers of persons at the end of life is an integral part of holistic palliative care. But what are the best practices in supporting them? We look at the latest evidence and resources available to support carers.
There are more than 2.7 million carers in Australia, which means about 1 in 8 people in Australia are carers.
The definition for carer (under the Australian Government Carer Recognition Act 2010) is someone who gives care and support to a relative or friend who:
Carers can be a family member, friend, or neighbour and are invaluable in providing quality care for persons needing support. For persons at end of life, carers are integral in enabling them to maintain quality of life.
Over 160, 000 people die each year and most of these deaths would be expected. When someone is coming to the end of their life, families and carers undertake a large share of the responsibility for providing care.
There is still uncertainty about the most effective forms of interventions to enable and support carers to continue to care. However, improving awareness and understanding of palliative care and its benefits will help communities to care for the carers who often find it difficult to maintain their own health and social wellbeing, including in bereavement.
Caring for someone who is dying can be very difficult. Relationships can change significantly, and the caring role can become much more intense at this end of the caring journey.
This can also be a time to make new memories or to say and do important things. Even in hard times, there can be moments of joy. Relationships may change, but this can also mean that they get stronger or more intimate.
CareSearch is working with St Vincent’s, Carers Australia and UTS on the Australian Family Carer Toolkit Project. The project is building the website CarerHelp. CarerHelp will launch on Thursday 17th October during National Carers Week.
CareSearch has many resources for, and about, caring. We support individual patients, carers and families; health professionals; educators and researchers; and policymakers by:
To help you find out more, click on the links and resources below.
Consensus statement on Carer and Consumer Engagement in Palliative Care and End-of-Life Care (155kb pdf)
Complexities in identifying and supporting carer needs.
Download now (258kb pdf)
Patient Carer Family Booklet (1.30MB pdf)
palliAGED Self-care plan (72kb pdf)
Meg Brassil reflects on her role and experience as a carer and provides practical pointers that can help.
Georgia Rowley shares her research and personal experiences on death, bereavement and grief and the myriad factors that can influence the outcomes.
Raechel Damarell shares her experience and insights in caring for her mother who was unexpectedly diagnosed with late stage oesophageal cancer.
Last updated 24 August 2021