Family carers play an essential role in palliative and terminal care and may hold the key to improving health services for older people. As we are living longer, many carers are older adults with their own health problems. The aim of this study is to explore how the age of the carer influences the experiences of carer and patient at the end-of-life, and identify ways in which services can better support older carers.
This is a qualitative study, using secondary data analysis of 90 existing in-depth interviews with younger and older bereaved carers of older adults who have died from heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and stroke. It will provide new insights into how carer perceptions and experiences vary with age, to inform improvements to carer support and older patient care.