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How to deal with a loved one passing

Karen Lewis, Director of Operations, Helping Hands

At Helping Hands we have undertaken research with its expert palliative carers to identify how families can best cope with the passing of a loved one.

The research highlighted both the importance of helping a loved one to pass with peace and the prevailing advice offered to help make this challenging time more endurable.

One carer described their job role as “to bring comfort, compassion, and good quality care to

patients and their families, at the most difficult periods of their lives.” Helping Hands carers offer consistent and dependable support during these tough periods, whilst also receiving ongoing support themselves through a local manager and dedicated carer mentor.

The team at Helping Hands has drawn on its knowledge to provide advice on how to cope with the passing of a loved one:

  •     If you can, try to start talking about end of life options now. Although it is an unavoidable part of everyone’s life, the British stiff upper lip often means that we don’t talk about death or the final chapter. Talking about their wishes now means that you will have a better understanding when the time comes.
  •     If you feel you need to, make sure you have those important conversations with your loved one. You might feel unsure or uneasy, but speaking to them about the logistics of wills, property deeds, or even making amends if the relationship has been strained, should make it easier after they pass.
  •     You will often find that loved ones pass when the time is right for them. Try not to take it personally if they are alone when it happens. Lots of people don’t want their loved ones to see them pass, and will choose to go when they get a few moments alone.
  •     Speaking about your experience is important. Carers will do what they can to ensure that loved ones are looked after and are as comfortable as possible, and will offer a “shoulder to cry on”, but speaking to friends and family can also help you to process the passing of a loved one.
  •     Everyone grieves differently and Helping Hands carers have their own ways to deal with the emotional aspects of their roles, with one suggesting that it helps to take a walk and “ease any emotional distress with some fresh air”, while another said “I cry too – it can really help.”

Our carers are there to ensure that the individual receiving palliative care is as comfortable and at-ease as possible, and also that their loved ones have the support they need.

I really hope our advice can help those who feel that they need some guidance on not only how to help their loved one pass with peace, but how to manage their grief in the weeks that follow.


If you would like to find out more information about palliative care options, visit the Helping Hands website here: www.helpinghandshomecare.co.uk/home-care-services/fast-track-palliative-care/types-palliative-care/

Edel Harris





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