Raising Awareness about Dying Matters

May 25, 2016

End of Life Care Facilitators from East Sussex Healthcare NHS trust held events at the both Eastbourne District General and Conquest Hospitals. The Big Conversation with people was to provide information and encourage people to think and talk about their end of life plans to make their end of life care experience better, both for them and for their loved ones. The team also encouraged people to post a wish of something they would like to do on their Before I Die board.

Sarah Callaghan End of Life Care Facilitator said: “It was a great opportunity to talk to people and overcome some of the taboos surrounding death and dying. It also gave us an opportunity to identify what is important to our service users and how we can ensure we provide individualised person centred end of life care”.

“Talking about dying won’t make it happen, any more than talking about sex will make you pregnant! None of us likes to think about getting ill and dying, but not talking about it won’t make it go away. Talking more openly about dying can help you to make the most of life and to support loved ones, but just 18% of British adults say they have asked a family member about their end of life wishes.”

“Many people still feel uncomfortable talking about end of life issues but it is important people are encouraged to talk and document their preferred choices. If we know peoples’ preferences then we can do our best to accommodate these wishes in an individualised way when we plan and provide care.”

A couple of comments from conversations held with people included:

“I have made plans to donate my body to medical science. My family are not happy about it but at least they have all talked about it and they know that is what I want”

On referring to their Mum dying at home, someone said “We didn’t know, no-one ever explained to us that when she died we would be on our own”

Photo – Sarah Callaghan and Joanne Thorpe
Photo – Sarah Callaghan and Joanne Thorpe

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