Chapter 4: Supporting the person

Special considerations in group homes

The support worker says
Karen Campbell, developmental services worker, shares her experience of supporting people in a care home when one of the residents died.(3:22)Video transcript
Karen Campbell, developmental services worker,talks about the comfort a memento can bring to someone who is grieving.(3:22)Video transcript
Karen Campbell, developmental services worker, discusses the grief experienced when a staff member or caregiver leaves or moves on.(3:22)Video transcript
Karen Campbell, developmental services worker, speaks about the loss of independence and the related grief.(3:22)Video transcript

When a staff member leaves, we often fail to understand the impact for those living in the home.

Additional challenges can arise in group home settings, where the “bed” may need to be filled quickly after a death. This can be hard on grieving individuals and on the new person moving in. Below are two situations you may come across in group home settings. Click on each situation for suggestions.

Whenever possible, allow someone who wishes to help pack up a room the chance to be involved. This can also be a time for sharing stories about the person who has died.

Even in situations where someone has a room of their own, a staff member may remove something that once belonged to a resident who has died without realizing its importance to the person who wanted to keep it.


When someone lives in a group home, property and possessions are often especially important. A person may have their own room, but staff go in and out. So much is not in their control. For example, if someone has something that belonged to a person who has died, staff might just dispose of it, not realizing how important it was for the resident to keep the object.