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Supporting carers in later life

This innovative project focuses on the practical and emotional needs of older carers, to help them provide better support for the person they care for who is nearing the end of their life.

This unique project focuses on the needs of older carers as they face complex and sometimes bewildering circumstances while coming to terms with the imminent death of a loved one. 

We empower older carers, not by providing medical support, but by focusing on their practical and emotional needs to help become more effective in the support they provide to their loved one.

This three year project is funded by the Department of Health to develop potential models to support older carers in these circumstances, to enable a loved one to die with dignity at home, or a place of their choice.

Local partners

We are working with six local partners (Age UK Leeds, Age UK South Tyneside, Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland, Age Concern Kingston Upon Thames, Age UK Lancashire and Age UK Oxfordshire) who will be looking for volunteers to offer relevant services to carers and their loved ones.

Volunteers will either provide support themselves or signpost the carers to a local Age UK or practical services such as:

  • shopping
  • gardening
  • food delivery
  • benefits advice

Volunteers will also arrange or provide emotional support to older carers such as:

  • advocacy services
  • counselling
  • bereavement services
  • befriending
  • spiritual assistance 

Case study: Mabel's story

Mabel is 70 years old and cares for her husband who was given 18 months to live, two years ago. Robert has cancer and frequent heart attacks. They go to hospital everyday, where he receives chemotherapy.
Mabel had stress-related ailments including severe headaches and panic attacks. Age UK helps Mabel have time on her own, which she calls her ‘pampering’ and has provided further services such as shopping.
The Age UK volunteer has personal and phone contact with Mabel, who values the emotional support through these regular chats. Mabel feels her headaches have lessened and she is having fewer panic attacks.
She also looks forward to her time with the Age UK volunteer and feels confident that if and when she needs more help she knows where to turn.

- For more information, contact

- For general information on looking after someone approaching the end of life visit the Dying Matters website.

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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