Dying well at home: the case for integrated working

Meeting carers' needs

The needs and experiences of carers supporting a person to die at home

The main message is we all want the best for our loved one.

Bereaved carer, SCIE workshop [16]

It felt like I was on a treadmill and I had to find out everything as I went along.

Carer [1]


Professionals and providers should:

  • ‘Think family’ and consider how support for carers can impact on care for the patient.
  • Regard carers as central partners in care who need:
    • to be informed about the patient’s medical condition and how it is likely to develop
    • to be trained to carry out basic nursing tasks
    • to know how they can get help at any time.
  • Ensure that carers have a named professional who can assist them in accessing health and social care services, equipment and support.
  • Ensure that carers have direct access to advice on financial planning, available benefits and how to maximise household income.
  • Alert carers to their statutory right to an assessment and ensure that the assessment is followed by a written care plan that is implemented.
  • Provide bereavement support to carers after the death of a loved one.

Key points from research and policy

Family carers

Practical support needs

Psychological needs


Practice examples

  • Practice example 1 outlines a befriending scheme that trains and coordinates volunteers to support people dying and their carers, developed by a hospice.
  • Practice example 11 describes an initiative to provide practical and emotional support to frail older carers specifically.


All SCIE resources are free to download, however to access the following downloads you will need a free MySCIE account:

Available downloads:

  • Dying well at home: the case for integrated working
  • Dying well at home: research evidence