The Big Conversation

Dying matters awareness week is a great opportunity to have that conversation and this subject is one that can be quite difficult to discuss at any stage of life. Dying Matters have implemented the theme of ‘The Big Conversation’ for 2016 which is aiming to raise awareness about the importance of talking more openly about end of life.

With a key message of ‘talking about dying won’t make it happen’, Dying Matters is step-changing the perceptions that arise when discussing death. One person in the UK dies every minute, yet less than a third of people have actually spoken about or written down their wishes around dying because they are either afraid or they don’t feel that it is the right time.

As a leading care provider in the Shropshire and Cheshire regions, Morris Care offers palliative care across its homes. This includes talking to residents about any wishes that they have and how staff can proactively implement these towards the end of their lives.  

Nurses and carers are trained in the National Gold Standards Framework (GSF) which ensures that there is a plan and opportunity to provide excellent care at every step of someone’s journey. Proactive management of end of life care is also encouraged so that family members respect and understand an individual’s wishes in advance should their health deteriorate.

The Dying Matters organisation encourages a variety of ways that the subject of death can be approached during this important awareness week. This includes creating your own or adding an aspiration to a ‘Before I die board’ which are located across the world. The aim is to reflect on your life and write down something that you would like to do before you die, similar to a bucket list.  

Living wills are another way of embracing this subject in a non-pressurised way, they do not have a legal meaning and can be created at any stage of life. Living wills can refer to advance statements which explain likes/dislikes and allow the person to write down how they would like to be cared for should they ever lose the ability to make or communicate those decisions. They can also refer to advance decisions such as if a person feels strongly about not receiving certain medical treatments, these wishes can be formalised in an advance decision which will be legally binding.

For more information about living wills, visit Age UK.

Visit Dying Matters to read more about the awareness week.

To read about palliative care services at Morris Care, click here.

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