Advice and support

When you find out that someone you love is dying, it can be hard to know what to do next. This information will help you find your way.

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Photo of a woman talking to another woman - bereavement support Sue Ryder

How can I cope with bereavement?

The death of someone close to you can feel overwhelming, and you may feel a mixture of emotions. There are some things you can do that may help you to cope and there are people who can support you if you need it.

Image of a funeral flower arrangement

How do I organise a funeral?

Organising a funeral for someone you love can be stressful and overwhelming at a very emotional time. However, many people find funerals are a chance to gather with those who cared about the person who has died and celebrate their life.

Image of a woman looking at belongings

How do I sort out money and belongings after a death?

Most people leave behind some possessions when they die, which might include money, property and their belongings, and together these things are called their ‘estate’. These are usually passed on to family, friends and people or organisations such as charities that your friend or relative has specified.

Image of an adult and a child

How do I support a bereaved child?

We all find it hard to cope when someone we love dies. Helping a child to cope with the loss of someone they love can be particularly difficult when you are dealing with your own grief. But there are things that you can do to support children through this difficult time.

Photo of a woman standing in a doorway holding a cup of tea

How long does grief last?

There is no timetable for how long grief lasts, or how you should feel after a particular time. After twelve months it may still feel as if everything happened yesterday, or it may feel like it all happened a lifetime ago. These are some of the feelings you might have when you are coping with grief longer-term.

Image of a patient in a hospital bed talking to a Sue Ryder health professional

Managing symptoms

Each of us is different, and our experience of different health conditions is also unique to each person. This section describes some common symptoms you may experience and how you can manage them in partnership with your healthcare team.

Image of a patient in a hospital bed talking to a Sue Ryder health professional

Managing symptoms - avoiding infection

When you are ill or have a long-term condition you are more prone to getting infections. There are some simple things that you can do to reduce the risks of getting an infection. It is important to let your health professional know if you think you have an infection.

Image of a patient in a hospital bed talking to a Sue Ryder health professional

Managing symptoms - bladder and bowel problems

Having problems going to the toilet can be uncomfortable and distressing, but there is no need to be embarrassed – your healthcare team are quite used to helping people with these issues. There are also some things that you can do yourself that can help to relieve some of the symptoms.

Image of a patient in a hospital bed talking to a Sue Ryder health professional

Managing symptoms - breathlessness or shortness of breath

Being short of breath can make it difficult to do some of your usual day-to-day activities, such as taking a shower or cooking a meal. As well as being uncomfortable, it can also make you feel very anxious or even frightened, which can make it even harder to breathe. But there are lots of things that you and your healthcare team can do to manage it.

Image of a patient being given dinner

Managing symptoms - losing your appetite and losing weight

It is common for people who are living with a life-limiting condition to lose their appetite and to lose weight. Sometimes this may be caused by your illness, its treatment, or medication you are taking. But you may also lose your appetite if you are feeling worried or depressed.