“I wish this book had been available two years ago, during the last weeks of my son’s life, and the following months as the family tried (and are still trying) to come to terms with his loss. It is a daunting task to write an “essential guide” to end of life care, but this book succeeds not only in providing all the practical help and information you need at such a very stressful time, but also in providing the support and reassurance you seek as you feel your world disintegrating around you.

However expected the loss of someone you care for may be, when it happens, there are so many practical issues you suddenly find you have to deal with as the end of their life approaches. This book guides you through everything from making a Will, Advance Statements and Directives and Enduring Power of Attorney to funeral arrangements, with a wealth of details for organisations who may be of assistance. If that was all it did, it would be of immense value.

But this book goes much further. Written by two people who so obviously have personal experience of caring for those near the end of their lives, the book is characterised by understanding, empathy, concern and support. As I read it, I found myself constantly taken back to situations and feelings with a jolt of recognition — “Yes, that’s how it was.” Chapters on making peace, grief and caring for carers (the latter so often overlooked) gave me new
insight into experiences I had struggled to understand. There is a complete recognition that, while everyone’s experience is different, all are valid. However you feel, it’s “OK.” It deals openly and honestly with issues such as re-integration in to the workplace, relationships with friends, who so often don’t know how to react to you, and grieving within disunited families.

I believe that this book should be essential reading for anyone involved in caring for people near the end of their lives, and should be made available to all families in that situation. As you read it, you feel as if the authors were sitting in your living room, talking to you. That’s exactly what we needed, and that’s exactly how it should be.”

(Tony Bonser, Campaigner – taken from the ‘Inside Palliative Care’ Journal)


“This paperback book tackles the difficult subject of managing death with a deft touch. As well as practical issues such as making a Will, Lasting Power of Attorney and organising a funeral  it considers the emotional dilemmas, both of the person preparing for death and for those left behind, with chapters on grief and support for the bereaved.

For a carer or anyone else facing up to the prospect of losing a loved one and unsure about how to handle either the practical or emotional consequences it could be a useful guide to help you through the trauma.”

(Choice Magazine)

“There is much wisdom in the pages of this book.  It offers practical advice in a caring way and it is hard to say that any of it is more important than the rest……so whether you are a professional or a family member, a friend or a carer or just thinking and preparing things for yourself , I hope that in the pages of End of Life-The Essential Guide to Caring you will find the practical advice you seek.”

(Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive, Macmillan Cancer Support)

“……..this book will fill a gap in most lay peoples’ knowledge of the processes around death and bereavement, and help us face the end of life – our own or that of someone we care for – with more understanding.

This is a powerful and informative book which tackles what is pretty much the last taboo left in our society.

Although written primarily to help family carers, much of the practical information would be very helpful for any individual thinking about the steps they should take to put their own affairs in order, and make sure that their wishes are known and respected, with regard to medical treatment, pain relief, artificial feeding, etc.

Perhaps even more valuable, however, is the attention given to the emotional aspects of death and grieving. I found the chapter on end of life in care homes and hospitals deeply moving, as it highlighted the effects of “empty chair syndrome” on other residents and care staff.

Another powerful chapter deals with the particular extra complications around the death of an individual with mental or cognitive impairments.

The way that grief affects us all, differently and for different amounts of time, is also carefully explained, and it is helpful to understand that although everybody will go through it, nobody can project their own experience onto another, and there are no right and wrong ways to grieve. Equally, the book highlights the importance of providing support and understanding for a bereaved person, and not allowing our embarrassment or feelings of inadequacy to get in the way of sympathetic communication.”

(Frances Leckie: Editor, Independent Living)

“….have just finished the book and it really is tremendous…. congratulations on a beautifully judged heartfelt and vital resource- thankyou for sending it.”

(Amanda Waring: Producer of ‘What do you See’ starring Virginia McKenna,

“This book is more than a guide. It is like a friend, talking you through a very difficult subject and sharing experiences. There is so much useful advice on aspects that one would not normally dwell upon. Like a good friend, it doesn’t tell you what to do but suggests a range of options to help you make your own right choices.”

(Lucille Arnold on Amazon)

Whether or not you personally are considering your own options about care, or you have an elderly relative that may soon require care, this book takes you step by step through what can often be a sensitive time with invaluable practicle help and advice. This is a must if you are considering care options.

(Dr Argent on Amazon)