This week is Dying Matters Awareness Week – a week which aims to get as many people as possible thinking, talking and acting about death and bereavement. For more information please see the Dying Matters Coalition’s website www.dyingmatters.org
Joe Levenson, Director of Communications at the Dying Matters Coalition writes us a guest blog post.
Every minute in the UK someone dies. It’s the one fact of life, but it is still the issue that the majority of us choose to actively avoid. While attitudes might be starting to change – it seems that death remains the final taboo.
The new British Social Attitudes research, published today to mark Dying Matters Awareness Week (13-19 May) shows there’s a mismatch in what we say and what we actually do.
While the majority of us say we’re comfortable talking about dying, the reality is that despite encouraging signs that older people are becoming increasingly likely to be making their wishes known, most people shun the important conversations and practical actions to manage their end of life care and final affairs.
This is in spite of the fact that more than half of us have been bereaved in the last five years.
The Dying Matters Coalition aims to change public attitudes towards dying and bereavement, so that we don’t leave it too late to talk about our end of life wishes. Talking more openly about dying can also make it easier to provide support to people who are approaching the end of their life or who have been bereaved.
There are simple things we can all do to help ourselves and support our loved ones.
You don’t have to be ill or dying to make plans for your future, which is why we are calling on people across the country to take practical steps by writing a will, recording their funeral wishes, planning their future care and support, considering registering as an organ donor and telling loved ones their wishes.