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Authors

  1. Gee, Emily MSc, BSc (Hons.)
  2. Yates, Julia PhD, CPsychol

Abstract

The death of a patient can be a significant event for professional caregivers. Yet, little attention is paid to the emotional toll this can exert on carers, nor the support they need to cope during this time. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of home carers following the death of a patient. Qualitative data collected through individual semistructured interviews with six United Kingdom home carers were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. A central aspect was the merging of carers' personal and professional losses. Three key themes were: (1) there are no boundaries to loss, (2) coping actions, and (3) a new understanding of life and death. These conversations gave carers a space to share their experiences of grief as well as lessons on their own life and mortality. Learning from these experiences will highlight the complexity of carers' loss and possible sources of support.