What is it?

Managing the final stages of dying involves careful planning.

It’s important the person’s wishes are respected. As a family member or carer, you will be supporting the person through the process. When asked, most Australians say they wish to die in their homes or residential aged care facility instead of in hospital.


What will my GP do?

Their GP will continue to check the person’s health needs, medicine, home support and specialist care. The GP will make any changes to the support and care as needed.

Their GP may talk about the person’s wishes, the process of dying, and what to expect.

This includes:

  • Whether the person wishes to die at home or in a hospital
  • What to expect when they are dying
  • How to care for them if they become distressed
  • How you will know when they have died
  • What you need to do after the death (you don’t need to call an ambulance)
  • Who to call for advice or support if you don’t know what to do

Palliative care is provided in many residential aged care facilities, as well as at home. Their GP will help you learn more about the palliative care process, including:

  • Strategies to manage any physical symptoms
  • Medications the person may need
  • Support services to help with day-to-day life
  • Decision-makers who can act on behalf of the person

Their GP may also complete a NSW Ambulance Palliative Care Plan. This plan lets the ambulance know what they can and can’t do if they are called out.

If there is a palliative care plan, make sure it is easily available in case an ambulance is called


What can I do?

Talk to the dying person about their wishes, and learn what’s required of you before and after the death. Ask your GP who to contact if you need support or advice at any stage.

Nominate family, friends or carers who can be available if the person needs 24-hour support. Carers may need to give medication if the dying person feels distressing symptoms.