Need support?

Living with a terminal illness and looking for support? Our Support Line team are here to help. 

 Reopens today at 8AM

by phone

 0800 090 2309 Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. Find out more about our Support Line.

Helping someone to relax

Everyday tensions and stress that your relative or friend might be feeling can be reduced with simple relaxation techniques and a comfortable environment.

This advice should help you to help your relative or friend relax:

Create a calm and comforting environment with soft lighting and by having familiar things around the room, like photos of loved ones.

Touch can help reinforce positive feelings for your relative or friend. It needs to be gentle, especially if the person’s frail.

Try massaging their hands and feet – gentle pressure helps to relieve aches and will make them feel more comfortable.

Stroking or massage sometimes relieves pain and sleeplessness.

Some massage oils can affect medication being taken so it may be best to use baby oil – ask your relative or friend's nurse or doctor for more information.

Be sensitive to your relative or friend’s wishes and remember their feelings can change from day to day.

Complementary therapies

Complementary therapies like acupuncture, aromatherapy and reflexology are sometimes used alongside conventional healthcare.

If your relative or friend would like to try complementary therapies, discuss it with their relative or friend’s nurse or doctor. They can tell you if there’s a medical reason why they wouldn’t recommend a particular therapy.

External websites

Carers UK   – carer to carer support

NHS Choices   – carer tips

This page is for general information only. It's not intended to replace any advice from health or social care professionals. We suggest that you consult with a qualified professional about your individual circumstances. Read more about how our information is created and how it's used.

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