Our End of Life team is encouraging families to strike up a conversation about death and dying as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week.
The theme for the national campaign, which runs from 8 to 14 May, is Dying Matters at Work. Stigma around grieving and a lack of understanding about what it means to be ill and what happens when you’re dying, mean that too many of us are struggling to cope when faced with life’s inevitable challenges. And the workplace is no exception.
We spend so much of our lives at work – and we shouldn’t have to hide our experience of death and dying from our colleagues, our peers, or our bosses. The aim of the week is to get people talking so we can create an open and compassionate society where we are comfortable facing the realities of dying, death, and grief.
The local Dying Matters group – which is made up of representatives from across the hospital, as well as hospices, charities, carers support services, funeral directors and solicitors – will be out and about as part of the week. They will be manning stalls at various locations during the week. You can find them on:
- Tuesday 9 May, 10am to 3pm, Brigg Garden Centre
- Tuesday 9 May, 10am to 3pm, Freeman Street Grimsby Market
- Thursday 11 May, 9am to 3pm, Silica Lodge Garden Centre, Scunthorpe
- Friday 12 May, 10am to 3pm, St Johns Scunthorpe Market
- Thursday 19 May, Central Park RDASH health bus
They would love for you to pop along and will be encouraging people to talk openly about dying, death, bereavement and making plans for end-of-life care.
Claire Hebden, Palliative End of Life Matron said: said: “It is so important to talk to your friends, relatives and loved ones about your and their wishes for end-of-life care and Dying Matters Awareness Week is a great way to get the conversation started.
“Talking about dying won’t make it happen. It’s one of the only things we all have in common, regardless of age, gender, race, or religion: we will all die someday. But it’s often something we don’t want to talk about.”
There are five steps which can help to make end of life a better experience both for patients, as well as their family and loved ones. The five steps are:
- Write a will
- Record your wishes for your funeral
- Plan your future care and support
- Consider registering as an organ donor
- Tell your loved ones your wishes.
Claire Hebden added: “It may sound morbid but talking about dying makes it more likely that you will die as you might have wished and it will make it easier for your loved ones if they know your wishes have been met.”
Making decisions about whether you would like to be resuscitated or not, where you would like to be cared for in your final days, down to what songs you’d like played at your funeral are all important decisions. It is also about making sure people receive the right emotional and practical support they need.