Supporting Others: Death + Dying View all

When Caring Ends

Looking after someone may be a large part of your life, but it is inevitable that your caring role will change over time.

This may be because the person you cared for has recovered and no longer needs care, or because they can no longer be cared for at home, or because they have died.

Whatever your situation, it is important to realise that you are not alone. It will be difficult, but you can find help and support.

This section is for carers who are experiencing significant change in their lives. It suggests steps you can take to help you through each situation.

Caring For You

Factsheet: When Death is Near

WhenDeathIsNearProduced in partnership with Carers NZ, Hospice NZ, and the Carers Alliance.

This helpful factsheet provides practical advice and information so you can better understand and cope when you loved one is dying.

Supporting Others

Factsheet: Oral Care for Someone Who is Dying

OralCareFactsheetProduced in partnership with Carers NZ, Hospice NZ, and the Carers Alliance.

This helpful factsheet provides practical advice and information to help maintain good oral care for someone who is in their later stages of life.

Supporting Others

Cremation: Facts & Questions

PurpleFloerThere are many myths about cremation … Tuakau funeral director Mark Graham tells us what really happens! 

Supporting Others

Body Art: Lasting Memorials in Glass

PeterViesnikAuckland glassblower Peter Viesnik (left) creates lasting memories of loved ones. His eye-catching glass crucibles give new meaning to the ad jingle “thousands of luminous spheres”.

Caring For You

Bereavement Bouquets

BouquetWhen ordering funeral flowers or a plant for a grieving person, Whitney from Flowers on Featherston recommends blooms and foliage in creams, whites, and greens. If you favour colourful blooms, stick to pale pink, mauve, or yellow. 

Caring For You

A Dad's Story: Helping Kids Adjust to Grief and Change

HeartSprinklesAfter caring for wife Kathryn at home for several years, Ian Wilson of Taumarunui reluctantly accepted the need for residential care. Ian shares his advice for other couples adjusting to this big change, and how to support grieving children. 

Caring For You

Carer Story: Saying Goodbye To Leona

riverStonesBy Elizabeth Paske, Mary Potter Clinical Manager 

Leona and I were closer than sisters. We'd gone through all kinds of major events together: deaths, divorces, kids, job changes ... life. Then Leona was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was only 44.

It spread to her lungs, liver, and brain.

Bouts of chemotherapy brought intermittent periods of life with some quality but, when Leona was 54, the cancer took over.

Caring For You

Advice: Talking to Children After a Tragic Event

If a traumatic, scary event takes place, even miles away or far on the other side of the world, today’s technology and media can bring it right into a child’s home, and, in graphic detail. For some children, this can be extremely distressing. They may react in a wide range of ways to the anxiety, fears or distress the event may cause them. Every child is different.

Most children’s key concern usually is: Will this happen to me - or to people that I know and care about? This question lets you know what they need the most – a sense of safety and reassurance.

Caring For You

A Year Ago Today

If you are supporting an elderly parent who is dying or very unwell, visit the blog of Carers World Radio producer and presenter Patricia Mitchell. 

"A year ago my mother fell and broke her hip. It has been a very sad, bumpy and illuminating journey over the last year. I have learned a lot about people: family, friends, strangers, and myself."

Supporting Others

Help + Information from the Cancer Society of NZ

Cancer Society LogoThe website of the Cancer Society is an important source of information for New Zealanders affected by cancer and their families. The Society provides information about types of cancer, diagnosis, methods of treatment, and advice about living with cancer. 

Supporting Others

Grief + Loss Resources from Skylight

Skylight is a charitable trust that offers a wide range of services including counselling to support those facing tough times of change, loss, trauma and grief, whatever the cause, and whatever their age.

The organisation also equips, trains and supports those wanting to assist them, such as friends, carers, and family members, community volunteers, and professionals.

Caring For You

Caring for Nana Balloon

NanaBalloonWhen 80 year old Phyllis died, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren each tied a bright, helium-filled balloon to her casket.

Phyllis' nickname was ‘Nana Balloon' because she loved to give them as gifts to her grandchildren.

Supporting Others

Living Every Moment, Hospice NZ

HospiceNZLogoHospice NZ is the national organisation supporting hospices throughout the country in their work of caring for people who are dying. Hospices are also a source of information for those caring for someone who is very ill or dying. 

Supporting Others

End of Life Planning


Making your own end of life arrangements provides peace of mind for you and for your family.

Caring For You

When I Die: A Two Week Conversation

Labour strategist and peer Philip Gould was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in 2008 and in the summer of 2011 was given three months to live. 

He commissioned filmaker Adrian Steirn to create an intimate portrait of his final weeks.

When I Die was partly filmed in the Highgate Cemetery, where Philip would spend his 'life after death'.

Beautiful and inspiring!


Supporting Others

How Carers NZ can help

View All Info & Resources