Questions for carers to ask the team caring for your loved one
When you are caring for a loved one it is always good to ask questions and clarify any information with the team caring for your loved one.
No question is ever wrong, and your health care team will always aim to answer all questions you may have. Below is a list of some questions you might find helpful to ask of the health team. Some of these may not be relevant to the stage of care of your partner, family member or friend for now. However, it is important to regularly review these, as they might become more relevant along the care journey.
- What skills will I need as a carer?
- Do you think I can look after my partner, relative or friend at home?
- Can I get help if I cannot manage?
- What can I do if I am not coping?
- How can I best support the person I am caring for?
- What should I do if my partner, relative or friend won’t eat very much?
- If my partner, relative or friend eats more will this make them live longer?
- How can I assist health professionals to talk to my partner, relative or friend in a way that respects their personality/culture?
- Who can I talk to if I am concerned about the care my partner relative or friend is receiving?
- If I cannot manage to look after my partner, relative or friend at home, how can we come to terms with this?
- What should I say when the person I am caring for asks: ‘Am I dying?’
- Will you be able to tell me when it is getting close to the time that he/she will die?
- When should I call the rest of the family? What should I say to them? Could you speak with them?
- How do I know when he/she has died?
- What happens after he/she dies (eg: what happens to their body, how do we arrange a funeral)?
- What support is available for the family after the person dies?
As a carer you may be responsible for management of medication, and may need to provide emotional, social or financial support to your partner, family member or friend. It is also important that you look after your own wellbeing by including various self-care activities. To assist with this, Palliative Care Australia has developed a practical guide aimed at building your resiliance to prevent burnout. To find out more, click Self Care Matters.
For services and supports available for carers contact the Australian Government's Carer Gateway or call 1800 422 737.
To find your local Carers Association in your state or territory, visit Carers Australia or call (02) 6122 9900 to access carers supports and services.