Asking for and accepting help

To get the support you need.

Getting help

Palliative care involves many people supporting and caring for a person experiencing a serious illness, dying, death and grief. It involves people helping in different ways, in different times and with different skills.

A study conducted by La Trobe University in 2019 found that:

  • People often don’t ask for help
  • People often don’t accept help
  • People often don’t offer help
  • People often want to help

La Trobe University Palliative Care Unit (2019). The HELP Information Guide. Downloaded from website on the 1 February 2021:


 ”Despite their willingness to do so, people don’t know what to offer or how to offer help

– Healthy End of Life Project (HELP)

 ”Carers’ automatically declined offers of help, despite needing it, and often despite having rich social networks.”

Healthy End of Life Project (HELP)

Build your own end-of-life care networks with our free HELP app

Tips for you to practice accepting help from others

  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable
  • Examine your beliefs on receiving
  • Give others an opportunity to give
  • Pay it forward instead of returning it
  • Feel the love and be grateful
  • Practice accepting help everywhere

HNC International (2020). 6 Ways to accept help when its uncomfortable. Downloaded from website on the 1 February 2021:

What to do when someone doesn’t want help?

  • Be available
  • Offer help
  • Become informed
  • Don’t force the issue or put pressure on them
  • Don’t avoid them

Reach Out (2021). What to do when someone doesn’t want help. Downloaded from website on the 1 February 2021:

Healthy End of Life Plan (HELP) for individuals and families

With a HELP plan, your family, friends and neighbours will know how they can help. By giving people a clear idea of what you need, when you need it (and what you don’t need!), a HELP plan makes it easier for them to support you.

Download the step-by-step guide to creating a HELP plan for yourself or someone you care about.