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  • Administration

    A way of giving medication to someone.

  • Breakthrough Pain

    Pain that occurs between regular doses of pain killers.

  • Carer

    Anyone who regularly looks after a person who would not be able to manage without them. Carers can be any age and can be paid or unpaid.

  • Care Plan

    An individualised plan that sets out how a patient should be cared for.

  • CARiAD

    A study conducted by Bangor University in Wales, that focused on the timely administration of as-needed medication for dying patients being cared for at home. In particular it looked at whether it was feasible and acceptable for unpaid carers to be trained to give as-needed SC injections.

  • Chronic illness

    A persistent or recurring illness which often results in disability and may shorten life expectancy.

  • Clinician

    A trained health care professional who provides some kind of clinical service, e.g. doctor, nurse, physiotherapist, psychologist, chiropodist, dentist.

  • Diagnosis

    A judgment about what a particular illness or problem is, that is made after examining it.


    An abbreviation of the phrase ‘Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation’, that means, do not attempt to restart the heart and lungs of a person when they have stopped working.

  • DNAR

    Do Not Attempt Resuscitation, a shortening of the expression 'DNACPR'.

  • Dysaesthesia

    An unpleasant abnormal sensation, that can happen on its own or can be triggered, for example a ‘feeling' of ants crawling on the skin.

  • Dysphagia

    Difficulty swallowing.

  • Dyspnea

    Difficult or laboured breathing..

  • End of Life

    A term sometimes used for the last year of someone’s life although it can mean the last few weeks or days.

  • End of Life Care

    End of life care has been defined by the National Council for Palliative Care, as 'care that helps all those with advanced, progressive, incurable illness to live as well as possible until they die. It enables the supportive and palliative care needs of both patients and family to be identified and met throughout the last phase of life and into bereavement. It includes management of pain and other symptoms and provision of psychological, social, spiritual and practical support.''

  • Hydration

    The process of providing water or other liquids to the body.

  • Last few days of life

    When death is expected within the next few days or hours of a life.

  • Life-limiting Condition

    An illness or disease that will shorten life expectancy, which cannot be reversed by treatment.

  • Nausea

    The feeling of needing to vomit.

  • Neuralgia

    Pain in the distribution of a nerve or nerves.

  • Nutrition

    Having enough food entering the body and being able to absorb the nutrients in those foods.

  • Palliative care

    Holistic care that focuses on relieving or soothing suffering caused by a serious illness, usually one that is not curable.

  • Pain

    An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.

  • PRN

    The direction to take a medication as and when it is needed in response to a symptom, not at regular intervals.

  • Prognosis

    An estimate of how long a person is likely to live with a disease or illness.

  • Pruritis

    An uncomfortable, irritating itch that creates an urge to scratch.

  • Route

    The way in which medicine is taken into, or makes contact with the body.

  • Subcutaneous Injections

    Also known as 'subcut', a subcutaneous injection is delivered into the fatty tissues just beneath the skin or into a small tube that has already been attached to a person via a small cannula (needle). They can be used to give many types of medications for various medical conditions.

  • Terminal illness

    Terminal illness refers to an illness or disease that does not respond to curative medical treatment and which will worsen and eventually cause death.

  • Terminal restlessness

    Terminal restlessness or terminal agitation is a symptom that some people may experience in the days leading to death. It can include agitation, anxiety and confusion.

  • Unstable

    When someones mental and/or physical condition is frequently changing in an unpredictable way. This can require close support and management from a health team.