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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Getting financial support

When someone is dying, it can put a lot of financial pressure on them and those who care for them. In the last year of life, most people are eligible to receive at least some benefits. They may also be able to access charitable grants or other forms of support.

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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.

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Managing symptoms - tiredness and lack of energy

Most people with a life-limiting conditions experience feelings of extreme tiredness, weakness or lack of energy at some point. It can be very frustrating and make it difficult to do everyday things, but there are ways of managing it.

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Managing symptoms - pain and pain control

Being in pain can make it harder to cope both physically and emotionally with everything else that is going on. Working with your healthcare team to manage your pain in the way that works best for you can make a huge difference to your quality of life.

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Managing symptoms - mouth problems

Having a sore mouth can make you feel miserable and have a major impact on your everyday life, by making it hard to eat or talk. Luckily there are lots of things you can do, such as keeping your mouth clean and moist, that can help to prevent or reduce problems.

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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.

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.

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Can I get bereavement leave from work?

If you are employed, you are entitled to some bereavement leave from work when a loved one dies. However, there is no set legal amount of leave. It can help to know your rights and how the system works.