Talking about dying can be a vital big step

Les Milne and Rebecca Jobson discuss awareness of the important issue.
Les Milne and Rebecca Jobson discuss awareness of the important issue.

Hartlepool people have taken up the chance to raise awareness of dying, death and bereavement.

The town took part in Dying Matters week through organisers at Hartlepool & District Hospice.

Debbie Bramfitt and Alison Martin promote the awareness campaign.

Debbie Bramfitt and Alison Martin promote the awareness campaign.

An awareness campaign was held outside the Central Library and a spokesman said: “We were joined by Tilly Bailey & Irvine, Victoria House Funeral Service and the British Humanist Association.

“Although it was a little bit blustery it was a lovely opportunity to speak with members of the public about their thoughts of dying and bereavement. Many people has already had ‘The Big Conversation’ with their loved ones about their wishes for care, funeral arrangements and so on whereas other people didn’t want to talk about it at all – it was a real mixed bag.”

Officials said a lack of openness “has affected the quality and range of support and care services available to patients and families. It has also affected our ability to die where or how we would wish.

“The Dying Matters Coalition is working to address this by encouraging people to talk about their wishes towardsthe end of their lives, including where they want to die and their funeral plans with friends, family and loved ones.

“Talking about dying makes it more likely that you, or your loved one, will die as you might have wished and it will make it easier for your loved ones if they know you have had a ‘good death’.”

In 2009, the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) set up the Dying Matters Coalition to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement.

Members include organisations from across the NHS, as well as the voluntary and independent health and care sectors.

That includes hospices, care homes, charities supporting old people, children and bereavement; social care and housing sectors;  a wide range of faith organisations; community organisations; schools and colleges; academic bodies; trade

unions; the legal profession and the funeral sector.

The Coalition’s Mission is to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life.