How do you start a conversation about death and dying? Why is it important to do so? Many people will shy away from the subject of death and dying – often because the subject is too difficult to think about – or they simply don’t know how to bring it up.


Dying Matters

A national campaign called Dying Matters aims to get us all talking about death, dying and bereavement and Dying Matters Awareness Week is taking place now (May 2nd to 6th).

The theme this year is about being #InAGoodPlace when you die.

This can mean a physical place – such as in your own home – or can be interpreted as being in a place where emotionally you feel at peace when you are dying.

Dying Matters says: “It’s important that we all know what it means for us and our loved ones to be in a good place to die – physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, and crucially, with the right care and support.
“However, we know that right now people are dying without the support they need. Since the start of the pandemic, it is estimated that almost 70,000 people have died at home without access to specialist care. The past two years have accelerated this issue like never before.”

Advance Care Planning

Our clinical teams both in the hospice and in the community are passionate about helping patients to think about an ACP (Advance Care Plan), to ensure patients record in advance what they want and don’t want at the end of life.

The process can involve recording the things that are important to you – from where you want or don’t want to be when you die – to the kind of music you want to listen to or taste preferences. Advance care planning is a way of ensuring a patient’s final wishes are heard and respected.

Starting the conversation can be difficult – both for patients and those people closest to them. It’s not something you necessarily want to talk about, but usually we feel so much better afterwards.

The hospice held an event on Tuesday which aimed to help people start those conversations and learn more about ACPs.

Some of our hospice team will be at Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre on Thursday, May 5th to talk to carers about the same subject. (If you are interested in attending please contact the Carers’ Centre)

Change happens when we start talking and that means better end of life care for all.

All over the UK events are taking place this week and if you look you’ll see the campaign running to get people speaking more openly about dying. Hospices, healthcare trusts, schools, theatre groups, libraries, care homes, artists and more are all involved. To find out more see: