8. Place of death

Support people to receive care and die in their preferred place

Supporting people to receive care and die in their preferred place requires consistent open communication, health literate information, and access to relevant services and equipment. Consideration of the care setting and whether the clinical needs of the person can be met should interface with systems to prevent or minimise unnecessary hospital admissions. If home is the preferred care setting, consideration of availability of community health and support services to meet the person and their family and carer’s needs is important.


Processes are in place for identified and embedded local pathways which support people to:

  • identify their preferred place of death
  • be cared for in the place of their choosing (where it is safe and feasible to do so)
  • die as close to home as possible, if this is the preference.

Regular assessment of the appropriateness of the preferred setting is also encouraged.


Assessment of needs and planning for place of death is important in respecting the wishes of the person with life-limiting illness, their family and carers.

Considerations and resources

Assessment of the person’s needs, preferences and values; family and carer capacity to provide care; and availability of an appropriate and safe environment, services, resources and equipment to provide care should be undertaken.

Risk screening and assessment needs to be considered and issues addressed for any children or other vulnerable people living in the household.

Facilitate or refer to appropriate in-home support programs and ensure liaison with the person’s general practitioner or primary healthcare provider regarding their role and availability in after-hours care.

Aboriginal liaison officers or palliative care Aboriginal health workers may assist with enabling Aboriginal people to be supported to die on ‘Country’, where possible and if desired. Multicultural health workers can provide advice on cultural considerations and requirements, including burial timeframes.


Funeral Guide: Aboriginal Funerals

Information on Aboriginal funeral traditions and etiquette.

Funeral Zone Ltd | Information | 2019

Accelerated transfer to die at home plan (adult)

A form for integrated discharge planning that begins when a patient expresses the wish to die in their home environment.

Clinical Excellence Commission | Clinical tool | 2012

Last Days of Life Toolkit: What to consider when your family member or friend has expressed a wish to go home from hospital to die at home

A resource for carers to ensure supports are in place when a patient expresses a wish to go home to die.

Clinical Excellence Commission | Information | 2016

Last Days of Life Toolkit: When someone dies at home what should you do?

A resources for carers which explains what they should do when someone dies at home.

Clinical Excellence Commission | Information | 2016

NSW Ambulance Care Plans

Enable paramedics to provide individualised care to a patient who has a life-limiting illness, in their home or in a residential aged care facility.

NSW Ambulance | Clinical tool | 2019

Procedures at time of death in hospital

Information for health professionals to inform discussions with family and carers when a child dies in hospital.

The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne | Information | 2021

Supportive Care - Into the Dreaming. A Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through 'Sorry Business'

A booklet to improve the effectiveness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's journey through the system for those that are affected by palliative illnesses.

Hunter New England Local Health District | Information | 2019

The Core Palliative Care Medicines List for NSW Community Pharmacy

Recommendations for community pharmacies to stock the five injectable medicines most commonly required at end of life.

NSW Ministry of Health | Information | 2019

After Death Care

Information for health professionals to inform discussions with family and carers regarding what happens when someone dies at home.

CareSearch | Information | 2020

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