Ros Capper discusses her key note for our November conference

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I was invited to be part of Te Arai after my early manuscript for The Accidental Carer was read by Merryn. Their team had so far not uncovered similar writing by a home-based palliative carer.

I was totally shocked by the desert-like scene for home-based palliative carers – ‘the hidden tribe’: often unnoticed, supporting a very ill person at our side.

‘This should not be a desert, people!’ My GP warned me that home-based palliative carers in our village are dying before the person they are caring for.

Caring for a loved person at home (Mike) was a precious and stretching experience. I was heart warmed when people reached out with compassion and practical offers of help.

This was such a busy time of finding courage, learning the ropes, adjusting hopes and dreams and growing a ‘home team’ while letting go any urge towards perfection!

It is great to have the opportunity to talk about my experience at the Te Arai Conference in November. I’ll talk about why I wrote the book and give you some of the top tips it contains.

With my informal team in my village community, I plan to trial the Home Team concept I describe in my book. This approach was used by me, as well as the five other families and whānau (and one self defined ‘lesbian clan’), whose experience I discuss in the book. I hope to partner with the Te Arai research group to evaluate how it works in practice. Ultimately I believe that we need to do so much better at supporting accidental carers and I am very excited (if a bit surprised!) to be a pioneer in this area.
Ros Capper August 2017

Merryn writes: we hope this has whetted your appetite for Ros’s presentation. If you would like more information about the conference (which will be held on the 3rd November), and to register, please email: If you would like to buy Ros’s book please visit her website for details:

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