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 someone holding a tea cup - Sue Ryder advice and support information

Telling people about your diagnosis

Telling the people you love that you have a limited time to live can be one of the hardest things you ever have to do - particularly when you are trying to cope with the news yourself.

Image of medicine boxes

Understanding medicines

Taking the medicines you are prescribed can help to make sure you make the most of your health and get on with your life. If there are problems with your medication, or it is not controlling your symptoms, you should tell your healthcare professional.

A patient in a hospice and his family

What can I expect when death is near?

Although everyone is different, there are some common things that happen as part of the natural process of dying. At this stage, the person who is dying is often unaware of many of these things. But it can help those who care for them if they know what to expect.

A hand signing a Last Will and Testament

What do I need to do to write a Will?

Making a Will is your opportunity to make sure that the people and charities you choose will benefit from your estate, so it is worth taking the time to think through what you want and to ensure that your Will is legal and valid.

Image of a Sue Ryder hospice bed

What happens immediately after a death?

Even though you know the person is dying, and you can try to prepare yourself, it is hard to know how you might feel when they actually die. Some people feel shocked or numb, whilst other people might feel overwhelmed with sadness, or even anger. It is also normal, particularly if it has been a long illness to feel a huge relief. You may find it helps if you have already thought of someone you can call who can be with you and support you at this time.

Image of medical equipment

What is an Advance Care Plan?

An Advance Care Plan or advance statement is a written statement that sets out your wishes, beliefs, values and preferences about your future care. It provides a guide to help healthcare professionals and anyone else who might have to make decisions about your care if you become too unwell, to make decisions or to communicate them.

Image of two people laughing and hugging

What is it like to be a carer?

You may not think about yourself as being a carer, you may simply see yourself as someone’s friend, partner, daughter or son. But if you’re looking after a person who can’t manage without your help, then you are a carer.

Image of a stack of papers

What is power of attorney?

As someone becomes more unwell, they're likely to find it more difficult to manage money and financial affairs, and may become too unwell to make decisions about health and care. If this is a worry, they can give someone power of attorney to make decisions and take care of things on their behalf.

Image of a woman looking out of a window

What needs to be done after a loved one dies?

Although this is likely to be a very emotional time, there are still some formal things that need to happen.

Image of a Sue Ryder nurse hugging a woman

Who do I need to tell about the death?

Sharing the news that your friend or relative has died is one of the most difficult and immediate responsibilities. If the person who has died has nominated you as executor, you will be responsible for sorting out their property, and carrying out the instructions in their will. This includes notifying friends and family, as well as formally notifying a number of people and organisations.