Work with communities to build capacity and resilience to care for those at the end of life

Caring for each other

Carers play a critical role in caring for someone towards the end of life so they can be supported to live well and to die at home if this is their wish.

For the carers themselves, this can be very demanding indeed. Many have to take a break from work or even give up working entirely. Yet many employers do not recognise their needs, for example for greater flexibility or more support. We also know that informal networks and the wider community play a vital support role.

Too often, however, the health and social care sector is ill-equipped to support such networks and to adapt to situations where traditional family structures are not in place. This must change. Hospice care cannot be delivered without well-supported carers and resilient communities.

The change that is needed

Carers will:

  • be recognised as an integral part of the care being delivered;
  • receive the training and assistance they need to support the child or adult they are caring for;
  • have access to support that can help them cope, including bereavement care;
  • benefit from a more compassionate, flexible employment culture and practice that recognises and supports employees who have caring responsibilities;
  • be part of strong and resilient community networks.

High level indicators of success

  • Increased use of bereavement support for families and carers;
  • Easier access to appropriate information for carers and those around them, including employers;
  • New technological solutions available to support those providing care;
  • The adoption of new employment practices related to supporting carers;
  • Engagement by policy makers on employment practices related to caring for those with terminal and life-shortening conditions;
  • New pilots of volunteering initiatives to fill the gaps in informal community networks.

What does hospice care mean to you?