- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Facing end of life
- Caring for someone who is dying
- Providing emotional support
- Making arrangements
As death approaches, speak to the palliative care team about what to expect. You may want to consider the following.
|Rituals||Ask the person whether they’d like a clergy member or other spiritual carer at the bedside, and what rituals or ceremonies should be performed.|
|Contact list||Have information on how to contact the doctor, nurse or support services easy for everyone to find.|
|Funeral home||Notify the chosen funeral home that a death is expected soon. Some people want to have the body at home for several days, so let the funeral home know if this is the plan.|
|Ceremony||Find out what the person would like done with their body after death or if they’d like to donate tissue or organs. Some people have strong views about whether they want to be buried or cremated, what sort of ceremony they want, and what memorial they want.|
|Ambulance service||Ask your health professionals who to contact if complications arise at home. Your first reaction might be to call an ambulance, but an ambulance officer’s duty of care may mean they have to resuscitate. |
If this is something the person you are caring for would prefer didn’t happen, speak to your doctor about completing an authorised care plan for ambulance officers to follow. Contact the ambulance service in your state or territory to fill in a form so they are not compelled to resuscitate.
Podcast: Caring for Someone in Their Last Months
Prof Jane Phillips, Head, School of Nursing and Professor, Centre for Healthcare Transformation, Queensland University of Technology and Emerita Professor Palliative Nursing, University of Technology Sydney, NSW; Prof Meera Agar, Palliative Care Physician, Professor of Palliative Medicine, University of Technology Sydney, IMPACCT, Sydney, NSW; Sandra Anderson, Consumer; A/Prof Megan Best, The University of Notre Dame Australia and The University of Sydney, NSW; Prof Lauren Breen, Psychologist and Discipline Lead, Psychology, Curtin University, WA; David Dawes, Manager, Spiritual Care Department, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Rob Ferguson, Consumer; Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar, Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Social Worker, One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy, NSW; Justine Hatton, Senior Social Worker, Southern Adelaide Palliative Services, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Caitlin MacDonagh, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Palliative Care, Royal North Shore Hospital, Northern Sydney Local Health District, NSW; McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer; Palliative Care Australia; Belinda Reinhold, Acting Lead Palliative Care, Cancer Council QLD; Xanthe Sansome, National Program Director, Advance Care Planning Australia; Kirsty Trebilcock, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA.
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