Talk, Plan, Live (On behalf of John Powell, ADASS End of Life lead)

Every minute someone in the UK dies, but many of us aren’t comfortable discussing dying and as a result are not making our end of life wishes known.

That’s why the Dying Matters Coalition was set up - and why it’s holding this week’s Dying Matters Awareness Week (18-24 May), which aims to raise public awareness about the importance of talking more openly about dying, death and bereavement. Whether it’s through planning for your future care and support, for example through setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney, writing a will, making financial plans to ensure the people you care about are protected, recording your funeral wishes or deciding whether you would potentially want to donate your organs or tissue, talking more openly about your wishes can make a real difference.

With hundreds of events due to take place across the country the focus of the week will be on supporting people to live well until they die and helping people to get their affairs in order so they don’t leave difficult decisions for their families to make. Find out what is going on in your area on the Dying Matters website, and encourage your front line staff and partner agencies to access some of the resources available on the website which are free to download and will encourage discussion to help break this taboo.  

Even if you don’t attend an event during Dying Matters Awareness Week, there are other ways to take part.  Join in our Twitter chats every weekday during Awareness Week to find out about the five simple steps people can take to make their end of life experience better.  If you have a question or can offer advice, please join in on Twitter by using the hashtag #YODO.

Don’t forget, talking about dying doesn’t bring it closer, it is about making the most of living and making it easier for those left behind.