Care and support for when someone dies

Written by Zenya Smith20/04/23



This article was reviewed by a member of our in house clinical team Alexis Cable.

Talking about dying is really tough. It’s why each year, Hospice UK hold’s ‘Dying Matters Week’ and encourages the nation to talk about death, dying and grief so that everyone knows where to go for the quality, end of life support they deserve. If you’ve lost someone yourself, or are simply looking to learn more about it – we hope the resources below help. 

Taking the practical first steps

When a loved one dies, it might be very difficult to consider practical tasks. Below are some resources to guide you through the process.



    • Citizens Advice: Arranging a funeral – This easy-to-understand guide from Citizens Advice runs through all of the key decisions and considerations you should go through when arranging a funeral for a loved one.

Free bereavement advice

Co-op offer a free Bereavement Notification Service. A Co-op Advisor will be able to give you free advice and guidance over the telephone and provide you with template letters for banks, insurers and other financial institutions.

They’ll also be able to help with the Government’s Tell Us Once service  – which lets you report a death to government organisations in on go.

The Co-op can even give advice on how to suppress junk mail and how to close down or memorialise social media accounts. The advisor will explain whether probate is needed and can arrange a free appointment with one of our consultants to explain our estate administration service and give you a no-obligation price for Co-op Legal Services to carry out the required work for you. As an Elder customer, you’re entitled to a 5% discount on their probate services.

Coming to terms with loss

It’s never easy coping with the passing of someone you love. And, although it can often feel like it, you’re never alone. As well as the support of friends, family and neighbours, there’s a range of specialist charities that you can rely on.

    • Cruse Bereavement Care – This is the leading national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They offer a local in-person bereavement help through their network of volunteers, a dedicated support line, as well as a really comprehensive range of online resources.


    • Mind bereavement support
       – The UK’s leading mental health charity offers an array of useful information on bereavement, stories of those who’ve come to terms with loss, and suggestions for helping yourself and others through grief.


    • The Loss Foundation – This is the only UK charity dedicated solely to providing bereavement support following the loss of a loved one to cancer, whether that be spouses, family members, friends or colleagues and Covid-19.


    • The Good Grief Trust – A charity that exists to help all those affected by grief in the UK. They aim to find the bereaved, acknowledge their grief and provide reassurance, a virtual hand of friendship and ongoing support.


    •  Widowed and Young (WAY) – A UK charity that offers a peer-to-peer support network for anyone who’s lost a partner before their 51st birthday.


    • Griefcast – If you don’t yet feel ready to talk to someone yourself, hearing the experiences of others may bring some comfort instead. Griefcast is a warm yet frank podcast that examines the human experience of grief and death. Each episode comedians, writers, and actors share  heartwarming stories of their lost loved ones, speak openly about the immediate feelings of loss, and discuss the sometimes odd and unexpected moments that can follow.

Planning Well: An (Un)Expected Journey with Hospice UK’s Sarah Russell

Head of Research at Hospice UK and Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholar, Dr Sarah Russell has over 25 years’ experience in palliative care. We talked to her about the positioning of death in modern society, the idea of “dying well” and the importance of advance care planning at any stage of life.

Using NHS services

The National Health Service offer a range of guides and resources that can help you with self-care throughout the process of grieving. As well as visiting your GP, they offer a range of online services.


    • Find psychological therapies – Grief can very often impact mental health. The NHS offers various therapies to help you better cope with stress, anxiety and depression that commonly stem from the grieving process. This online portal allows you to get started with a self-referral.


    • Coping with bereavement – The NHS has put together this hub for those who are coming to terms with loss. It talks through some of the common symptoms you’re likely to experience and signposts you in the direction of resources and support services in the health service and beyond.


Building new friendships

Sometimes, the support that works best for people is talking to people in a similar situation.


    • Age UK Befriending Services – The leading national charity for elderly people offer befriending services for those who’ve recently experienced a bereavement. These can be invaluable if you or a loved one are struggling to live alone as a result of someone’s passing.


    • Independent Age Regular Visits – If you want someone to check in and make sure your loved one is alright, you can arrange regular visits from an Independent Age volunteer. It can be a really useful service if someone close to you has recently been left without their spouse.


    • Re-engage – This is a charity that exists to support older people who live alone and have set up a UK-wide call companions’ service, available even when home visits aren’t possible. It means there’s always someone over the other end of the line to talk to.

Learn more about elderly care

Take a look at more Elder guides on later life.

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