How you can allow those who love you to support you, in ways practical and emotional.

Older hands holding


Although essentially dying is something you do alone, in most cases the period leading up to your death is something you cannot do alone. You need support from others, whether it be family, friends, colleagues, the medical profession, alternative/complementary practitioners, spiritual advisors or other. Some of the areas in which you may need help might include someone or several people who can:

  • Set up a rota system, if needed, through which those friends who are available and whom you’d like involved can help care for you ( see Care Together )
  • Keep friends and loved ones informed of your condition
  • Help you to complete any ‘unfinished business
  • Be a companion if you are house-bound or bed ridden
  • Go shopping for you
  • Help with the cooking or other household chores
  • Help look after your children or other dependents
  • Help arrange your financial affairs – perhaps via a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Finance – see Planning for the end of life
  • Help with any legal matters – e.g. making a will or creating an Advanced Decision or Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare
  • Drive you to your hospital appointments or to your favourite places
  • Facilitate visits from your friends (perhaps send them our Guide to Visiting the Dying if it seems appropriate)
  • Liaise with external carers
  • Research and help arrange sessions with a counsellor and/or alternative/complementary therapists if you feel this would be helpful to you
  • Help arrange visits from a minister of faith or other spiritual help
  • Be your representative if you become incapable of communicating your wishes to the medical profession. See Advance Decisions and Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare
  • Help arrange things according to your wishes for your funeral
  • Listen to you as you express your fears and concerns without judging you or advising you
  • Listen to you as you review your life
  • Throw a party for you & make you laugh
  • And last but not least, guide you in meditations and support you to recognise the beauty and potential of this final phase of life


See also:

Planning for the end of life

The benefits of planning ahead; the areas you need to consider and some helpful resources

Complementary & Alternative Therapies

Some suggestions of therapies which may be of benefit up to and during the dying process, helping to bring relaxation (mental, physical and emotional) – allowing a let-go

Dying Toolkit

This toolkit is primarily for the person who is dying although it has many resources which will be of help to those caring for someone who is dying.

Carer Toolkit

This toolkit may be of help to the primary carers (generally family and friends); those working in a voluntary or professional capacity and more occasional visitors to the seriously ill or dying.



Additional Resources

Care Together a website which helps family and friends to schedule visits and tasks in caring for a loved one.

The Phone Tree

The main carer, or other nominee, can use this to communicate with family members, friends and colleagues of the dying person quickly and effectively.

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