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Dying Matters Awareness Week
Dying Matters Awareness Week, running from 10 - 16 May 2021, is a chance to open up the conversation around death, dying and bereavement.
Death inevitably invokes feelings and memories, often emotional with a sense of loss for those left. This year we have also seen many tragic Covid-19 deaths in very restricted circumstances.
Dying Matters says ' There is no right or wrong place to die; it will be different for everyone. But it is important for families to think about it, to talk about it and to plan for it. We want people of all ages to be in a good place when they die – physically, emotionally and with the right care in place. Make sure that you and your loved ones are in a good place to die’
So – How does this happen?
We have the opportunity to listen – but we need the forum to open up conversation. Dying Matters has produced a resource pack to help you start conversations. There are creative ideas such as Death Boards to create pictures of how you want to be remembered, ideas for death cafés and events.
What do we need to cover?
Dying Matters say there are often areas that people leave too late to discuss and have put together a helpful checklist.
Don’t shut it down
People have the right to be heard…and yes, sometimes there may be tears, especially when many have experienced deaths restricted by Covid-19. We aren’t making people feel better when we close the conversation, we are choosing for others what can be aired.
The right experience and the right forum
Make sure that conversations happen in a way that is appropriate, well thought through and involving staff that have had training to guide people through the process.
During the Pandemic meeting in groups may be difficult. Death Cafes have helped many people navigate their final wishes, and talk about death and dying. As a resource you can book a place on zoom whilst meeting is restricted. Why not book a place and discover how things can be run?
Give people the information they need.
We should be asking what people want in death as part of care planning , but these conversations expand on this. If the client/family member or representatives have not asked for something, it doesn't mean they don/t want it, it may mean they don't know or haven’t thought of the options.
What is the most important thing?
What the person wants. It can feel like unnecessary upset asking somebody what they want for their death, but we don't know best, and we can never know a person’s response until we ask them.
What’s your story?
As you read this your memory may be actively remembering a death. Mine is. This is an opportunity for you to talk to someone you trust about death and dying.
If you, a member of staff or a person using the service would like support due to a bereavement you can contact At a Loss
- Sue Brayne resources of death and dying
- Covid-19 Death and Dying Resources Hospice UK
- Skills for Care End of Life Care
- Age UK Living Wills and Advance Statements
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