New Help for Carers
New Help for Carers
A new online resource is now available for carers.
If you are caring for someone who is nearing the end of life, information can make a difference to you and the person needing care. CarerHelp is a new online resource to help you understand what to expect through useful and trustworthy information, tools, articles and videos.
According to Professor Peter Hudson, an international expert on family caregiving in palliative care, CarerHelp supports carers to learn what to expect, communicate, plan ahead, and make shared decisions.
“Caring for a relative or a friend who is dying can be a rewarding yet challenging experience. Based on a significant volume of evidence, we know that carers need information about how to recognise when death may be on the horizon, what to expect when someone is imminently dying, and to know where to get help and support,” says Professor Hudson.
“Importantly, carers who are more informed and better prepared for their role are less distressed, feel more competent, and can cope better during bereavement. CarerHelp is designed to focus on these areas, in order to improve family carer wellbeing”.
Jessica Freeman, a carer, says that it was crucial for her to provide end-of-life care for her Mum who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. “It was important for me, as I wanted to adhere to my Mum's wishes to be cared for and die in her own home. I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible. It was also important as a way for my family and me to spend these precious moments together.”
Looking back, Jessica says that she wishes she knew “more about the dying process and what to expect so that I was perhaps better prepared mentally, to have the correct equipment in place from the outset. My Mum's condition deteriorated quite quickly at the end.”
Another carer, Imelda Gilmore, says that it is important for carers to know what to expect and “be prepared for the startling rate at which the disease can progress.” She adds that carers “will only get one chance to support their loved one through this extremely challenging experience – that's why it's worth getting as much guidance and support as possible.”
According to Professor Hudson, “CarerHelp fills a gap for carers. It supports them by providing high quality and practical information on symptoms; support services; common financial and legal issues; managing communication and wellbeing; and other resources, which specifically address the end of life context.”
Further information can be found at: www.carerhelp.com.au