At the End of Life

At the End of Life

People vary in what they know, understand and believe about death and dying. They also differ in what they want to know.

Over time as an illness progresses, a person who is dying will need more care. Symptoms may change in frequency and severity. There may be new symptoms. Being free of symptoms like pain and nausea is important. As someone approaches the end of their life they may become more drowsy. They may become detached from reality, or unaware of what is happening around them. They may be less interested in eating and drinking.

If you are caring for someone who is dying, make sure you have talked with your GP about what is involved, what to do in an emergency and what to do after a death. If you are worried about what is happening, contact your GP or talk to another health professional.


Helpful Resources

  • This Palliative Care Australia page explains the dying process and talks about changes that occur
  • The Eastern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium has prepared Noisy breathing - A family leaflet which explains some of the changing in breathing that can happen when someone dies.
  • The Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services has produced a factsheet on Dying at home.


Page created 01 May 2017