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Cancer Information

End of Life

End of Life

Sometimes, despite the best efforts of doctors, a person’s illness cannot be controlled and he/she reaches the end of life. It can be a difficult time for caregivers, yet with support and guidance, this can also be an opportunity to spend meaningful time with loved ones. 

 It is common for people at this phase of life to eat and drink very little, spend more time sleeping and to become increasingly weak. For practical tips on how to care for a loved one at this time, download a copy of the "Spen​ding the last days together​" booklet.​​​

Caring for the Caregiver

Caregiving is not just a physical task, it can be mentally and emotionally draining too. So it is important for caregivers to ensure that they look after themselves and obtain support if needed. Support can come from many sources, including family, friends and neighbours, one’s faith community, or the healthcare team.

For practical tips on self-care, click here.

One of life's universal experiences is bereavement, which is the term used for the experience following the death of a loved one. Everyone grieves differently, but common examples include:

  • Feeling sad and generally emotional
  • Having difficulty with sleep and appetite
  • Thinking a lot about the person who has died, sometimes hearing their voice or expecting to see them walk in the door

The hurt does lessen with time, and the healing can be helped by:

  • Expression of one's thoughts and feelings
  • Taking care of one's health
  • Accepting support if needed, including professional help
  • Avoiding harmful behaviours such as turning to alcohol or drugs