C.A.R.E.S.: A Tool for the Care of the Dying

Bonnie Freeman, RN, DNP, ANP, ACHPN, Compassionate Person-Centered Care for the Dying

About the C.A.R.E.S. Tool

The following are recommendations for care of the dying based on the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project and the second edition (2009) National Consensus Project for Palliative Care Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care. The recommendations are arranged in the acronym CARES (Comfort, Airway, Restlessness, Emotional support, and Self care) to organize the most common needs and education requirements to support the dying patient and their family. The tool is intended to prompt nurses to obtain orders for symptom management, increase awareness of resources and promote communication with the ultimate goal of achieving a peaceful death for their patient and family.

“...there are worse things than having someone you love die. Most basic, there is having the person you love die badly, suffering as he or she dies. Worse still is realizing later on that much of his or her suffering was unnecessary.”

– Ira Byock, 2012

Permission to reproduce can be obtained from Bonnie Freeman at freeman_bonnie@yahoo.com
© 2012