New end of life carer - bereavement support

Hi, I’d love some advice if anyone is able to help?

I’m a carer, who is newly qualified in end of life care, so inexperienced in this area. I have been providing voluntary care for a close friend for a few years since she was diagnosed with cancer. She moved in with her sister and brother in law (her house wasnt suitable) who have been her main carers. She passed away last week.

I know the responsibility of care extends to the family of the bereaved. Under normal circumstances I’d go there every week to provide emotional and practical support, which I know they need and want, but I am pretty sure this is outside of what a care professional would offer and so as a voluntary carer who is not accountable to any care body/organisation (I am not aware of any that would be appropriate) I am pretty sure I’m not able to offer any support to the immediate family under current restrictions.

If I am able to offer any support I’d love to know what/how.


Hello, Emma. I am sure the bereaved family could welcome your continued support. Apart from the grieving, they will need to organise and arrange many things - the funeral, Will, documents relating to savings, life assurance, tax, pension, membership of societies, informing friends and more-distant relatives, etc., etc. If you can assist with any of these, taking some of the burden off them, I am sure it will be appreciated.

Keeping distance is an issue under current restrictions, but I am sure there is much you can do without physical proximity. We live in hope that as vaccinations are rolled out restrictions will ease and you may be more able to visit in person.

Hi Dennis,

Thank you so much for your help. The things they requested help with are things like organising her personal belongings, which requires me to go to the home, so I think you are saying I’m not currently able to do that?

They other thing they find helpful for the grieving process is singing with them as the sister was a music therapist and finds that helps a lot emotionally. It’s also what her sister who passed away found very useful. It’s not possible to do virtually due to the time delay (we tried). I think for the same reasons as above I’m not able to do this?

Thanks again, I really appreciate your help.