Dying Matters Awareness Week is an annual event that gives an opportunity to place the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement firmly on the national agenda.
About 1% of the UK population dies each year, and each of those deaths will affect many more people in different ways. The theme for this year’s Dying Matters week is “What Can You Do” as it challenges people to do something practical. This might be something for themselves, like making a will, or something for someone else who is bereaved or caring for a dying relative, like cooking a meal or walking the dog; it may be simple, but it can make a huge difference to someone coping with death or bereavement.
“As a general rule people can find it difficult to talk openly about death and dying. This can make it difficult to plan ahead and to ensure that people’s wishes are fulfilled.” Kevin Chesters, Head of Living Well Services explains.
“The Hospice has a strong focus on supporting people to consider what will matter to us at the end of our lives, to plan ahead and to live well until the end of our lives.
“This year, as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week, Dougie Mac is hosting an event to address these very important issues and to invite the local community to join Dougie Mac’s Café from 9.30am – 12.30pm on Wednesday 16th May.”
The aim of the Dougie Mac café is to create a friendly space open to anyone to ask questions about end of life care issues, such as; making a Will, planning a funeral or coping with bereavement.
Alongside activities to highlight the importance of having conversations about dying, death and bereavement with loved ones, free coffee and tea will be provided as well as refreshments.
There will be the opportunity to chat to members of Dougie Mac’s multidisciplinary team and learn more about the support the hospice provides:
- Palliative Care Nurses will talk about the various support they provide in the community
- Social Workers will explain the value of memory work resources
- The Advance Care Planning Service will talk about the benefits of expressing wishes and preferences in relation to care and treatment from 11.45am – 12.30pm
- The Spiritual Care Coordinator will be providing relaxation sessions in the Spiritual Space at 10am and 11.15am
- Pending a simple safety check by the Physiotherapist, guests will be able to use the massage chairs in sessions at 10.45am and 11.45am
- Complementary Therapists will be giving hand massages throughout the morning
- There will also be video viewings of Homeward Bound, a true story of Lesley and her husband Seth Goodburn who at 49 years old was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer following a short history of feeling unwell and died just 33 days after diagnosis. The play is a valued resource that helps to highlight the need for understanding of individuals in end of life care. There will be viewings at 9.45am, 10.45am and 11.45am
Spaces on these sessions will be limited so please call Head of Living Well Services, Kevin Chesters, on 01782 344300 to book your place.
In addition, in support of Dying Matters Week, Juliette Carter, Wills and Probate Solicitor at Beswicks, will provide straight-talking advice from 10.30am – 11.30am about why everyone needs to; make a Will, consider Lasting Power of Attorneys and plan for the future. To book your place, please call Claire Bellew at Beswicks Legal on 01782 205000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claire Henry MBE, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care and the Dying Matters coalition, said “we should not be afraid of talking about death. Everyone has questions and concerns so it’s good to talk about it as we can all get our plans in place and then get on with living.
“Research from ComRes, commissioned by Dying Matters in 2016, found that only 35% of British adults had made a Will, and only 30% have discussed their funeral wishes.”