Caring for someone nearing the end of life

Even when you know the end of life is approaching for a family member or friend, you might not feel prepared. This section covers the practical, emotional and physical issues to expect, and how you can provide comfort and support.

Learn more about:

Coping as a carer

Looking after a person who is dying can be stressful, and you will need help and support. It’s not unusual to feel like you don’t know what to do, what to say and how to cope. If you’ve never been around someone who is dying before, you may be afraid of what will happen.

Learning about what might happen can help you feel less frightened and confused, and allow you to prepare for the emotional and physical changes ahead.

Caring can be physically and emotionally hard work. Read more about the caring role and how you can look after yourself during this time. You can also call 13 11 20 for a free copy of the Caring for Someone with Cancer booklet, or download a digital copy from this page.

This information was last reviewed in January 2017
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Support for carers
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand

Cancer information

Advanced cancer
Information for all stages of advanced cancer, from the initial diagnosis to palliative care and grief

Information for carers
Information for family and friends providing care to someone at any stage of cancer