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Resources for Carers and Family Members

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5 points on practicalities when someone dies

Tips

  • Register the death. You will need to make an appointment at your local register office within five days (eight in Scotland). They will produce a death certificate. Buy a few copies, and take a friend or family member with you for moral support.
  • Use the ‘Tell Us Once’ Service, your Registrar will be able to give you contact information. This service notifies all the relevant government departments. You can also use the Stop Mail service (see contact details below) who will be able to prevent marketing letters arriving for the person who has died.
  • You may be entitled to bereavement benefits. Visit the government’s website (below) for more information.
  • Arrange the funeral. Under the current restrictions enforced by the Government during the Covid-19 outbreak, funerals and cremations may be disrupted or delayed. If you are using a funeral director, they will be able to explain the current rules. In addition, the number of family members permitted to attend a funeral has been limited, and you may be unable to attend if you are in isolation, which can be very distressing. You might like to think of other ways that you can mark your own private goodbye or memorial at home.
  • Some people find it helpful to make a list of family/friends who could give practical help or advice, or to accept support already offered. Tackle things at your own pace and in your own time according to what works for you.

For further help, see


Additional information on medicines used in symptom control

Leaflet

This leaflet contains further information on your medicines and the way that we sometimes use them in palliative care. If you have any more questions please ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. (more…)


Advance Care Planning

Leaflet

This leaflet explains how to consider your choices and preferences for the future – if you have any other questions, we hope you will talk them over with a member of staff who will be glad to help.
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Art for All online Session 11.5.20: Get involved!

Videos

Join us for a YouTube art group each Tuesday where we’ll present art activities, along with calls for contributions to large scale St Christopher’s-wide art projects.

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Art for All online session 14.4.20

Videos

All our online sessions are free to join. If you are able to, please consider a small donation to our emergency appeal.


Art for All Online Session 18.5.20: Make a wish with 1000 cranes

Videos

Join us to learn how to make an Origami crane at home, or even challenge yourself to complete Senbazuru!


Art for All Online Session 2.6.20: A Room with a View

Videos

We’ve all spent a lot of time inside recently, and probably quite a while looking out of the window. In this session we explore what it is that makes a view important to us.

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Art for All online session 22.4.20

Videos

All you need is a pencil and paper for this activity and you’re ready to go!

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Art for All Online Session 25.5.20: We are the music makers

Videos

Join us to learn about making art from music: Follow in the footsteps of Kandinsky and listen to your favourite music to find inspiration to make your own artwork.

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Art for All online session 28.4.20: “Bring me sunshine”

Videos

This ‘Art for All’ session focuses on light- sunlight to be specific! Learn about Cyanotype art printing and to have a go at making your own art, using shadows as a creative inspiration.

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Art for All Online Session 4.5.20: “A page full of colour”

Videos

Sometimes we all need a bit of colour in our lives. Watch how to make the perfect art piece to complement an NHS window rainbow, using materials that everyone has at home. And take part in an activity that encourages us all to look at colour differently within our own homes.

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Bereavement

Leaflet

Most people will experience bereavement at some time in their life. Everyone reacts to their loss in their own unique way

Grief can be very painful and may give rise to feelings and thoughts that you don’t expect. You may find the information in this leaflet helpful. (more…)


Breathlessness

Leaflet

This leaflet will provide you with basic advice to help you manage your breathlessness. It is intended to act as a reminder following a physiotherapy session – please ask if you have any questions. (more…)


Candle: Children and Funerals

Leaflet

Parents and carers want to do the best for their children, and it is very hard to know what is best for them when a death has happened. You are trying to come to terms with what has happened, cope with painful and difficult feelings, and there are so many decisions and choices to be made.

This leaflet has been written to help you think about your children and the funeral, why they should have the chance to go, and how to answer some of their questions.

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Candle: Children, Young People and Loss

Leaflet

St Christopher’s has been providing bereavement counselling to patients’ families for over 50 years. St Christopher’s Candle Child Bereavement Service extends this support to all children, young people and their families in the south east London area, covering the boroughs of Croydon, Bromley, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth. Any parent, carer, teacher or healthcare professional can make a referral to the Candle Child Bereavement Service. Young people aged over 16 can refer themselves.

We also offer a specialist training, advice and consultancy service to schools and other agencies working with children facing bereavement.

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Candle: How to help your bereaved child

Leaflet

How to help your bereaved child

You may be bereaved yourself, and may be finding it hard to keep your child’s needs in mind with all that is happening.The following points are a guide to help you focus on what is going on for them. (more…)


Candle: Someone close has died

Leaflet

How to help a bereaved young person – a guide for adults

Every year many young people experience the death of someone they are close to. Some of these deaths will be sudden and some will be after a long illness, but all losses can be difficult for teenagers. This leaflet is designed to help you understand some of the aspects of a death that are hard for young people and to give some ideas about how you can offer support. (more…)


Candle: Someone has died suddenly

Leaflet

Helping your child

Everyone is very shocked when someone dies suddenly. There has been no time to prepare and often no warning that the person was going to die. Shock affects adults and children physically and emotionally, and some of the effects you may notice are feeling dizzy or sick, shaky, shivery, hot and cold. After a shock we often feel very unsafe for a while, and need to take things quietly. This leaflet mentions some of the things you and your child may be feeling. (more…)


Caring for your dying relative at home with COVID-19

Guidance

This guidance is produced to help support people who are caring for someone who is dying at home from COVID-19 infection


Coping with dying

Leaflet

This leaflet describes some of the physical changes that happen to people as they start to die. It anticipates some of the questions you may want to ask about what is happening and why, and encourages you to ask for further help or information if there is anything at all that is worrying you.
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Coping with feelings of depression

Leaflet

1 Coping with feelings of depression

There is no right or wrong way to feel when you or someone close to you has a terminal illness. You may experience a range of emotions, at different times. You may feel shock, fear, anger and resentment. Or you may feel helpless, sad, frustrated or perhaps experience relief and acceptance. You may also feel isolated and alone, even if you have family and friends around you.
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Coronavirus (Covid-19) if you’re affected by terminal illness

Weblinks and Resource Lists

Marie Curie’s advice on understanding covid-19 if you’re affected by a terminal illness


Coronavirus (Covid-19) if you’re affected by terminal illness

Guidance

Marie Curie’s advice on understanding Covid-19 if you’re affected by a terminal illness:


Exercise at home

Videos

A set of four videos designed to help people through exercise.


Frequently asked questions about ‘next of kin’ and power of attorney

Leaflet

When you are referred to our services, one of the questions we will ask you is about your ‘next of kin’. This is a term that most people have come across without knowing exactly what it means. This leaflet aims to explain it. (more…)


Gardening vlog week 1


Gardening vlog week 2


Gardening vlog week 3

Videos

He’s back! Cliff, one of our volunteer gardeners at St Christopher’s Orpington, gives a tour of the beautiful gardens. With strict social distancing measures in place, he can show us how the garden has fared on its own for all those weeks!

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Hand massage

Videos

Alternative video (no introduction):


Help during your bereavement

Leaflet

Is it normal to feel this way?

When someone who is important to us dies it can feel unbearable, as though our whole world has changed. As unique individuals, our response to loss is also likely to be unique, and can be affected by the relationship we had with the person who died. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. (more…)


Helping someone to take their medication

Guidance

Marie Curie’s advice on ‘Helping someone to take their medicine’


If something happens to you as a carer


Leaflets for healthcare professionals

Leaflets

St Christopher’s has produced a range of information leaflets for patients and carers. Healthcare professionals and other organisations may use this material providing St Christopher’s is credited as author. Copyright remains with St Christopher’s Hospice. For further information regarding use of leaflet material, please contact the Communications Manager on tel: 020 8768 4585 or email: communications@stchristophers.org.uk


Managing breathlessness

Videos

Four videos designed to give people advice about managing breathlessness


Medicines A to Z

Weblinks and Resource Lists

NHS A to Z list of medicines


Meditation – More than you can handle?

Videos

From the book Postcards from Heaven, words and pictures to help you hear from God, but Ellie Hart.

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Meditation – the art of firewalking


Mindful breathing

Videos

Take a break from your desk to enjoy this short video on mindful breathing led by Sarah.

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Mindfulness Live Events

Webinar

Stirling Moorey is a Consultant Psychiatrist in CBT, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and Visiting Senior Lecturer Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. Stirling provides weekly mindfulness sessions. To be included in the notifications for these sessions, please email Stirling on Stirling.Moorey@slam.nhs.uk


NHS Advance Care Planning

Guidance

This guide is for people who are approaching the end of their life. Some parts of it may also be useful for people who are caring for someone who is dying, or people who want to plan in advance for their own end of life care.


Palliative Rehabilitation

Videos

A useful video from All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care


Preparing for a funeral

Leaflet

A funeral is a significant event. It may not be easy to think about, whether your own or that of a relative; for example how best to commemorate a life, what to include or leave out. However, planning a funeral can be helpful for those who are approaching the end of life and is one way of ensuring that their wishes are respected. (more…)


Relaxation

Videos

A short guided relaxation exercise.

Please note that all exercises demonstrated and repetitions suggested are a guide. Please start with whatever you can do and build up gradually over time. Remember to rest as needed between repetitions and between exercises. If you feel dizzy or have chest pains when exercising stop immediately and seek medical help. 

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The Age of Inclusion

Guidance

Lessons from social action innovations developing age-inclusive and age-friendly practice

This guide shares lessons for civil society and public sector organisations on how to design and deliver social action programmes that are more age-inclusive and age-friendly. It outlines some of the tactics and practical approaches that worked well for the innovations NESTA have backed.


Visiting someone who may die soon

Weblinks and Resource Lists

For families: If you are unable to visit someone who is dying – what can you do instead?


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