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Call our 24/7 advice line for health care professionals and families if you need support with symptom management and end of life care - 01284 766133.

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Gathering support

Planning for your own care or for the care of someone close to you is not always easy and it can feel overwhelming.

While it is hard for most of us to ask for help, asking other people makes them feel involved and may help you remain as independent as possible.

This guide may give you some ideas about the different ways you might ask for help (or offer if you are reading this as someone who would like to help).

The practical stuff: When you are ill or caring for someone the world doesn’t stop, and all the little – but important – household tasks still need doing, from collecting prescriptions, food shopping, looking after pets, gardening.

Keeping in touch: feeling involved in what’s going on in the lives of your family, friends, neighbours and local community. Hearing about everyday things that are happening can help ease isolation and can be a good distraction from talking about health and illness.

The personal stuff: help with medical appointments, childcare, going to the hairdresser.

Doing what you enjoy: Making time to do the things you like is important. Time for you whether you are ill or caring is necessary, things like going out seeing friends, hobbies.

Conversations about what you might want if you were so sick you might die. We plan for a birth and it is equally important to plan for our death. Things to think about might include:

  • Ideas about what you want and don’t want as well as the things you like;
  • Things you would like to do / see;
  • Things you like to taste / feel / hear / smell;

Think about who will support you with the more private aspects of your care and support. A way to measure how comfortable you feel with each person might be to ask yourself: “Would I feel comfortable if this person saw me in my pyjamas?”

Remember plans can and will change; if things aren’t working the way you thought they would don’t be afraid to adapt it.