Research indicates that with standardised support from health professionals, quality information and resources, carers and families can confidently, safely and competently give subcutaneous medicines to help manage breakthrough symptoms experienced by the person they are caring for.
This role is entirely voluntary - it is the decision of the carer or family to make.
**If the carer or family feels unable to perform this role, the person being cared for will still be well looked after by the health care team.
Existing caring@home resources are focussed on teaching carers and families to manage breakthrough symptoms safely by giving subcutaneous medicines.
WATCH THIS SPACE for new resources being developed during 2023-2024 that support quality, home-based end-of-life care during the last 12 months of life.
Who will support the carer/family?
The carer/family is not alone in this role. The health care team will support them.
- The nurse will use the caring@home resources to teach the carers/family how to give subcutaneous medicines.
- The doctor or nurse practitioner will prescribe the medicines to be used to treat the breakthrough symptoms.
- The pharmacist will help by getting the prescribed medicines and can answer questions about the medicines.
- The nurse will provide a 24-hour phone number to ring if the carer/family has any concerns or needs advice.
What do other carers and families say?
Carers and families who have managed subcutaneous medicines say they feel a strong sense of achievement and satisfaction from being able to contribute to the comfort of the person they are caring for.
Carers and families report being pleased they have been able to help keep the person at home, because that is what the person wanted.