Misunderstandings are common when terminal illness and prognosis are discussed. Most people, including some health care providers, are uncomfortable with the subject. Because of this, or because they want to prevent distress, health providers may use vague terms that are open to interpretation. Two people can be using the same words, but be talking about different things.
In this section you will find practical guidance, information and resources on: how to say goodbye; the importance of good listening skills; and what the dying may experience as death approaches. There is also guidance on talking to children and young adults, and practical guidance on how to break bad news.
Download: Talking about Death and Dying
Children who are shielded from the truth are likely to worry, rely on overheard bits of conversation, or make up something in order to make sense of the unusual behaviours they’re observing. Many experts who work with children and youth believe that young people are better able to cope with situations if they know what is happening and feel comfortable asking questions.
What should you tell children about death?
At some time or other, all those who care for children will be faced with questions about dying. Children deserve honest answers, but as adults, we get worried about saying the wrong thing. What’s the right approach?
Download: Talking With Children About Dying
This diary can be used to record your symptoms, when they occur and what you did to treat them. It can be taken to your health care appointments to help explain the symptoms you are experiencing. If your symptoms are not relieved by your treatment, call your health care provider.
Download: Symptom Diary
The national clinical programme for palliative care is pleased to present the second edition of the palliative care Glossary of Terms (the palliative care glossary). This document was developed as part of a process to promote clarity and consistency in the way in which we speak about palliative care and the services that are provided to people with palliative care needs. It was developed in consultation with stakeholder advisory groups to the programme.
The Think Ahead form aims to guide you in thinking about, discussing, and recording your preferences regarding all aspects of end of life. It encourages you to ensure that those closest to you are aware of these preferences so that, should a time come when you are unable to express them yourself, your wishes will be clear to those caring for you or managing your affairs.
This booklet has been developed by the Palliative Care Senior Nurses Network as an aid for people seeking information about palliative care. The term palliative care can raise a number of important questions. The purpose of this booklet is to help people ask the questions they need to gain the information they need about their own illness or their loved ones illness and what role palliative care can provide.
Download booklet: Palliative Care: Asking the questions that matter to me