Role of the carer

Research indicates that with standardised support from health professionals, quality information and resources, carers 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 carer’s decision to make.

**If the carer feels unable to perform this role, the person being cared for will still be well looked after by the health care team.

If the carer does decide to take on this role, a nurse will teach them what they need to know in a one-on-one training session. There will be plenty of time to ask questions.

A nurse will use written guides, videos and a practice demonstration kit to teach the carer. They will leave these items in the home so the carer can refer to them at any time.


Who will support the carer?

The carer is not alone in this role. The health care team will support them.

  • 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 visit the home and will provide a 24-hour phone number to ring if the carer has any concerns or needs advice.

What do other carers say?

Carers 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 report being pleased they have been able to help keep the person at home, because that is what the person wanted.

Page created 10 October 2018