Advice for people, families and communities planning for the end of life

This can be an especially difficult time for people who are receiving end of life care and their loved ones. It is now more important than ever that we share what is important to us with our families and loved ones. We need to hold on to the little things that matter and care for each other.

Here is some information you may find helpful.

Visiting restrictions in hospitals, hospices and care homes

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are visiting restrictions in place at hospitals, hospices and care homes to prevent the virus spreading.

If you are ill and an inpatient, you may feel isolated away from family and friends. If your loved one is ill, you may feel uninvolved, helpless and worried about their care.

What you can do

  • Everyone should talk to family members about their wishes and plans in advance. This might include financial arrangements. This will be helpful so you know what is important to your loved one who is ill, or who is at risk of becoming very ill.
  • Make a plan so you and your family can communicate with someone who may have to go into an inpatient unit. If they do go into hospital for example, make sure you as the family know how to contact them and the ward and vice-versa and ensure that the ward knows who to contact to pass on information with the patient’s consent. Ideally have one contact person who can then share with the wider family.
  • If you can, provide IT equipment to keep in touch with someone who is ill while you cannot visit them. You can use FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp, for example, to keep in touch.

You can find out more information about visit restrictions at our local hospital, Great Western Hospital, here.