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06th May 2022

Dying Matters Awareness Week

Dying Matters Awareness Week, running from 2 - 6 May 2022, 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. In the last few years 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?

Creative Conversations

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.

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.

Death Cafes

During the Pandemic meeting in groups was difficult. Death Cafes have helped many people navigate their final wishes, and talk about death and dying. 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.


You can also listen to our podcast 'Death and Bereavement: Person-centred support for relatives and friends' below, where our care expert, Abi Spence shares with us a few tips when coping with bereaved family and friends

Listen Now

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist

Abi has worked for and with Government agencies relevant to social care for the past 12+ years. Primarily with the Department of Health, Social Services Inspectorate, Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and since its inception the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of this long involvement Abi has developed a wide and detailed understanding of relevant issues and has worked closely with stakeholders such as people that use services, carers, providers, local government, the Department of Health, Ofsted and the Audit Commission. Read more

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