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Creating an emergency plan as a carer

When you’re caring for someone who is terminally ill, having an emergency plan can give you peace of mind in case something unexpected happens. If you fall ill or have to go into hospital, you need to know someone will step in to look after the person you care for.

On this page:

What should I include?

Your emergency plan should include:

  • the name, address and contact details of the person you care for
  • details of any people you would like to be contacted in an emergency – for example, family, friends and health professionals
  • a list of medication the person you care for is taking and details of their on-going needs
  • information on where essentials are located within the person’s home

Who should I involve?

You may have family members or friends who are willing to look after the person you care for in the event of an emergency. If so, make sure they are aware they are included in your plan.

If you don’t have a personal network to fall back on, you can ask the local council, or local health and social care Trust in Northern Ireland, for support. You can do this by asking for a community care assessment   for the person you are caring for and a carer’s assessment for yourself.

If you have a Marie Curie Nurse they may be able to help you with your emergency plan through the rapid response service that operates in some areas. They may also be able to provide after-hours support.

Emergency carer card schemes

Some parts of the UK have emergency carer card schemes set up by the local council or carers centre. These schemes provide a 24-hour response service, which you can call in the event of an emergency.

Contact your local carers organisation to find out if there is a scheme in your area. You can search for this on Carers UK   website or call the Carers Direct   helpline on 0300 123 1053.

External websites

Carers UK   (see the homepage for links to nation-specific information)

NHS Choices  

NI Direct  


This content is provided for general information purposes only. It's not medical, financial, legal or personal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified professional about your individual circumstances. How our information is created and how it's used.

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