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P-245 Care after caring: supporting family carers facing and following bereavement
  1. Alison Penny
  1. National Bereavement Alliance, London, UK


This presentation will share findings and good practice case studies from a recent report from the National Bereavement Alliance and Hospice UK, commissioned by NHS England’s Commitment to Carers programme.

Each year in England, over 500,000 carers face the death of the person they were caring for. Preparing for the death of someone close and dealing with its aftermath is one of the most challenging experiences of life, but as with many challenges, it has the capacity to be profound, fulfilling and enriching. For those who were caring for the person, the ‘legacies of caring’ (Larkin & Milne, 2017) bring extra dimensions to bereavement. Whether the carer felt prepared for the death or not, the physical, mental, financial and social strain of caring can have lasting impacts well beyond the death.

This presentation will share good practice and ideas to improve outcomes for bereaved carers. Some of these are things that can be put in place before the death, to improve outcomes in bereavement. Others are ways of improving support after the death to make it more sensitive to the ‘legacies of caring’.

The presentation will set out what we know about carers facing and managing bereavement, and some of the recommendations that have been made to improve support. It will summarise the policy context for supporting former carers as a framework.

Drawing on findings from consultations with former carers and those supporting them, it will lay out a series of six aspirations for local areas and services. If these were in place, we would all be able to say ‘we get the right support at the right time, before and after the person we are caring for dies’.

Twelve examples of local good practice in supporting carers facing and following bereavement will be shared.

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