Who do I need around me at the end of my life?
There are three main areas to consider in the support you will need: medical, practical and emotional support. Some can only be done by medical professionals, others can be done by service providers, friends, family or spiritual leaders. Remember that people may also want people around them at the end of their life other than those mentioned here.
It is usual to have a healthcare team that includes:
allied health, such as social worker, physiotherapist, counsellor or occupational therapist
palliative care team
treating team for a specific disease such as cancer, cystic fibrosis or heart disease.
If you do not have access to any of these services but think they could help, ask your GP for a referral.
You may need to find people who can help you with:
shopping, cooking and feeding
showering, bathing and toileting
help getting in and out of bed
completing and sorting important documents
talking to service providers
other odd jobs and errands.
Lots of these things can be done by family and your community. However, your healthcare team can assist if you need more help. This may include sourcing equipment to maintain independence at home, such as toileting aids, shower chairs or mobility aids.
For many people, friends, family and your community are a good source of emotional support. You may wish to have someone you trust with you when you speak to health professionals or or support services.
,Let your carer, friend or family member know what you would like them to do. It’s normal for these conversations to be hard. It’s okay if you can’t talk to the people around you about certain things.
It’s okay to seek support outside your usual network. Here are some ways to find support or more information:
This information is general guidance and may not be applicable to your specific circumstances. For personal advice, please contact a medical or legal practitioner or a spiritual, cultural or community leader.
This content was written for people in Victoria, Australia. Laws and practices differ in other states, territories and countries.