9. Grief and bereavement support

Assist with the multifaceted aspects of loss associated with death such as emotional, financial and practical challenges

Grief and bereavement support assists with the multifaceted aspects of loss that are associated with death, such as emotional, financial and practical challenges. Support includes responding to needs around ‘sorry business’ practices for Aboriginal families and carers and specific cultural needs.

Action

Processes are in place to ensure the person, their family and carers are provided with grief and bereavement support throughout the care continuum, and processes are in place for the screening of all carers for bereavement risk.

Processes are in place to provide bereavement information and support in response to the needs of families and carers, at the time and after a death. Where risks or higher needs are identified, access to additional care planning, support and referrals are provided, including where the person was cared for outside of specialist palliative care.

Evidence

It is important to provide access to grief and bereavement information and support for family, carers and significant others to help the immediate and future impacts of loss on the person, their family and carers at all stages of end of life and palliative care.

Considerations and resources

Either at the time of, or soon after, death, families and carers of all deceased people are to be given information regarding grief and bereavement, and where indicated through a screening process, referral to appropriate bereavement support undertaken.

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement has online resources for grief. Beyond Blue provides confidential counselling services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Griefline provides telephone and online counselling services. Headspace is the national youth mental health foundation. They can help young people who are going through a tough time.

Resources

Dealing with practical matters after death

A guide to a social media afterlife

Tips for carers and families on how to deactivate social media accounts after someone dies.

Palliative Care Australia | Information | 2015

After a Death

A guide providing families and carers with information to help make decisions and notifications after someone dies.

NSW Government | Information | 2020

Australian Death Notification Service (ADNS)

A single online location to notify multiple organisations that someone has died.

Service NSW | Information | 2020

Claim for a funeral benefit

A form to claim assistance with covering the cost of a funeral if the deceased was a veteran.

Department of Veteran Affairs | Information | 2021

Death and bereavement

Payments, support and other services to help carers when someone dies.

Services Australia | Information | 2021

Paying for funerals: covering the costs of a funeral

Information for the bereaved on help available to cover the costs of a funeral.

Moneysmart | Information | 2021

What to do when someone dies

Advice on the practical tasks that need to be completed when someone dies.

Services Australia | Information | 2021

Information about grief and bereavement

COVID-19: Bereavement care guide

Recommendations for health services supporting the bereavement care of people impacted by COVID-19 related deaths, and other deaths during the pandemic.

NSW Ministry of Health | Service development | 2020

Grief Information Sheets

Fact sheets for bereaved people and health professionals regarding grief and loss.

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement | Toolkit | 2021

Last Days of Life Toolkit: Understanding Your Grief

Suggestions for bereaved people to help them better understand their grief.

Clinical Excellence Commission | Information | 2016

My Grief App

Provides information, tools and resources to support bereaved people and practical strategies for families and friends on how best to support someone in the midst of their bereavement.

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement | Information | 2021

Web resources: Trauma, grief and loss

A collection of website links and resources for community members and health professionals on trauma, grief and loss.

Australian Institute of Family Studies | Toolkit | 2021

Loss of a child

After the Loss of a Child: A resource for parents of children in palliative care

Looks at common issues and processes occuring both before and after the dealth of a child, and provides information and helpful tips for navigating the grief experience of parents and families.

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement | Information | 2015

Footprints in the sand

Provides bereaved parents and families with practical information and emotional support after a child has died.

Bear Cottage, Sydney Children's Hospital Network | Information | 2021

Grief and bereavement support services

GriefLine

Provides free counselling support to anyone experiencing grief, loss and trauma.

GriefLine Community and Family Services | Information | 2021

Lifeline

Provides short-term, confidential, one-to-one suuport and education for communities, families and individuals impacted by loss, grief and trauma.

Lifeline | Information | 2021

National Association for Loss and Grief (NSW)

Provides free loss and grief support (face-to-face or via phone), support and education for communities, families and individuals impacted by loss, grief and trauma.

National Association for Loss and Grief (NSW) | Information | 2019

Support Groups

List of support groups for parents who have experienced the death of their baby, facilitated by obstetric social workers from the Mater Hospital.

Mater Hospital, St Vincent's Health Australia | Information | 2021

Carer resources

A BIG LIST of Death Literacy, Planning & Conversation Tools

Directory of electronic and multimedia resources for patients, carers and community members around death literacy, advance care planning and communication tools.

The Groundswell Project | Information | 2021

Carers NSW

Provides information and support to carers in NSW, including those who are caring for someone with a life-limiting illness.

Carers NSW Australia | Information | 2021

Plan your digital legacy

Assists patients to plan what will happen to their digital presence after their death, including digital assets and social media accounts.

eSafety Commission | Information | 2021

Planning for the end of life

Helpful practical information and support for carers of people at the end of life, as well as links to useful organisations and websites.

Carer Gateway | Information | 2021

Resources

Directory of resources for patients, carers, community members and health professionals in palliative and end-of-life care.

Palliative Care Australia | Information | 2021

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