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End of life care can support you if you are approaching death. It helps you to live as well as possible until you die and to die with dignity. It also includes support for your family or carers.
You can receive end of life care at home, in a care home, at a hospice or at hospital. It should begin when you need it and may last a few days, or for months or years.
NHS Choices has a guide to end of life care.
Marie Curie has information, advice and support for people with a terminal illness.
Dying Matters has a directory of services for people in the last years of life, their families, carers and friends.
Hospice UK The national voice of hospice care in the UK, working with member organisations to support their work and promote delivery of high quality care. They have a web-based postcode hospice finder.
Macmillan Cancer Support Telephone helpline 0808 808 00 00 Provides information, advice and support for people with cancer, their families and carers. Marie Curie Telephone 0800 090 2309 Offers expert care guidance and support to people living with any terminal illness and their families.
You may have specific wishes about your future care or medical treatment. Your condition might mean that you will not always be able to make your own decisions, so it's a good idea to talk about what you want with your family, carer and doctor. This is called advance care planning.
Anyone can plan for their future care, whether they are approaching the end of life or not. Advance care planning can let people know your wishes and feelings while you're still able to. It does not have to be in writing unless you're making an Advance Decision to refuse treatment. However, you may find that writing your wishes down makes it easier for people to understand and stick to them. You can include things such as:
The Gold Standard Framework has a 5-step video guide to advance care planning
Marie Curie have information about planning ahead and things you should think about, which includes talking about your wishes for how you are cared for in the final months of your life.
My Decisions is a free and simple website where you can create an Advance Decision document to print, sign, witness and share.
Hospices provide care for people from the point at which their illness is diagnosed as terminal, to the end of their life. Hospice care can provide medical, emotional, social, practical, psychological and spiritual support. They also support your family and friends.
The NHS has information on hospices
There are four hospices in Dorset:
Everyone experiences grief differently and people may feel one or more of the following symptoms after a loss:
It's completely normal to feel any of these things in the first stages of grief.
We have a directory of bereavement services that can support you and your family.
The most important thing to help you heal is having support from other people. This can be family, friends, colleagues, support groups or counsellors. We have information on organisations who can help in our service provider directory.
If you are supporting someone who has lost a loved one, you may need advice on how best to help them. While you can't take away the pain of loss, you can provide much needed comfort and support. Often just being there to listen is one of the most helpful things you can do.
Here are some useful suggestions of things you can do and things to avoid:
Winston’s Wish is a national charity aimed at supporting bereaved young people and their families.
Mosaic provides help and advice for bereaved children, young people and their families in Dorset.
Child Bereavement UK is a national organisation providing help to children and young people (up to age 25), parents, and families.
Grief is a natural response to loss and it is the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love dies. There is no right or wrong way in which to grieve. It is a highly personal issue which can affect people in many different ways.
The Covid-19 pandemic does however, raise some unique issues that are different to a typical bereavement:
Remember losing a loved person is part of life. Death and therefore bereavement is a normal human experience and whilst it is a difficult experience, the vast majority of people will cope with it without the need for specialist intervention. Understanding the grieving process and what to expect is very powerful and will help you and others to restore feelings of safety and security.
Talking to other people can help the process especially being able to talk with those people you rely on and trust.
National Bereavement Partnership COVID-19 Hub has been set up to provide information, advice and support those individuals struggling on a difficult and emotional journey in these unprecedented times.
It’s normal to be unsure of what to do when someone dies and to feel sad, angry or lonely. There are many organization’s that can advise you how to organise a funeral, cope when someone has passed away and how to register a death. There are also bereavement support groups in Dorset to support you with your loss.
You should register a death with Dorset Council Registration Service within 5 days unless the coroner has requested a postmortem or an inquest.
We have information for carers including what support is available and things to think about when your caring role ends.