For Dying Matters Awareness Week (13-19 May), the North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance is supporting a campaign to highlight what is often seen as a bit of a taboo subject. Research shows that two thirds of adults in the UK do not have a will, but have you thought about funeral planning or even organ donation? This week is designed to get people talking about that inevitable life event, death. Follow the conversation on social media.
For more information, go to https://www.dyingmatters.org/AwarenessWeek
Share your favourite poem and make sure that “Dying Matters”
People from across NE Essex are being encouraged to talk openly about death and share their favourite poem as part of a national campaign designed to break down taboos and make dying well part of a good life.
GPs from NE Essex clinical commissioning group (CCG) are encouraging people of all ages to start planning for their futures in the run up to Dying Matters awareness week, which begins on Monday (13 May).
During the week, people will be given the chance to share their favourite poem on the theme of loss, bereavement and end of life. The NE Essex Alliance partners will be sharing poems picked by local people with first-hand experience of death and dying to encourage others to start the conversation.
The drive also supports the campaign by St Helena which aims to raise awareness of the importance of putting plans in place early.
Called ‘My Care Choices’ it encourages people to talk about death and make a record of their preferences by completing the ‘My Care Choices Record’, which details the care they would like to receive in the future, including if they wish, their priorities for care at the end of life. This can include, but is not limited to their preferred place of care, who they would like to be contacted, as well as medical details and information about resuscitation.
The week also comes in response to statistics which show that nearly one in three people are not comfortable discussing dying with friends and family, while only 35% have written a will. In addition, just 7% of people have documented their end of life preferences, which is the only way of making sure they receive care in line with their wishes if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves.
Dr Karen Chumbley, GP, and Clinical Director for St Helena, said: “Many people find it hard to talk about death and dying, and it remains one of the biggest taboos in our society.
“It is time we talked about death. We will all die, yet we fail to prepare. Grief is hard anyway, without having the trauma of trying to guess your loved one’s last wishes. This awareness week gives us a real opportunity to start the conversation and recognise that preparing for death is our right, and can also help empower our families by ensuring we leave a positive legacy behind.
“We want to encourage people to talk openly about dying and plan ahead so that they can make the right choices about end of life care, where they want to die and their plans for their funeral. Talking about death won’t bring it closer – but sharing our wishes well in advance will make it easier for our loved ones when we do reach the end of our lives.”
For more information on My Care Choices visit: www.mycarechoices.online
North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance colleagues have recorded a selection of their favourite poetry and songs in support of the campaign.
In addition, residents from across north east Essex have kindly shared a poignant collection of poetry. You can download a copy by clicking on the links below.
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