Dying Matters

Swale residents are being encouraged to talk about their end of life wishes – which means planning your death as far as possible, and thinking about what you want to have achieved during the course of your life and what colours should be worn at your funeral.

The Dying Matters Awareness Campaign (May 2019) brings the issue into the public spotlight, aiming to break down the fear and taboo associated with death, dying and bereavement and get people talking more openly, whatever the time of year.

Key messages

Dying Matters is promoting five simple tips to help to improve end of life experiences for patients and their loved ones.

These are:

  1. Tell your loved ones your wishes
  2. Plan your future care and support
  3. Write your will
  4. Record your funeral wishes
  5. Consider registering as an organ donor

Are We Ready?

The campaign also asks this question.

It is a question that challenges each of us on several levels. Are We Ready for our own deaths, or the deaths of those we care about? This is a practical question – wills, funeral planning and more – but of course it’s also emotional, even spiritual for some of us.  For many of us, the answer will not be ‘yes’. We know from the research that most people haven’t taken care of the practical aspects and even for those that have, the emotional aspect of being ready for death is challenging. Who is ever really ready to die?

Such questions are best faced with the help of others, which is why we are asking ‘Are We Ready?’ To face death and dying is a challenge greater than any one of us can face alone, and it is all of our responsibility. We are in this life together, so our question is asking much more of us than you might think.

  • Are We Ready to help others get their affairs in order?
  • Are We Ready to help people we know who are caring for someone who is dying?
  • Are We Ready to support someone who is grieving?
  • Or even something as simple as “Are We Ready to talk about it?”

Advanced Care Planning

There are times in our lives when we think about the consequences of becoming seriously ill.

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the process of enabling a person to think about the impact of a future illness or disability and express wishes about their future health care in consultation with care providers and loved ones.

This ACP programme, which has been put together by the University of Nottingham in association with the Dying Matters Coalition and the National End of Life Care Programme, is aimed at volunteers; the content may be used by anyone either in a group setting or even on a one to one basis.

It is appropriate for members of community groups, health and social care staff, pensioner’s action groups, etc.

Use this link to access full programme material: https://www.dyingmatters.org/page/advance-care-planning-volunteers

Advanced Care Plan – a record of someone’s dying wishes

We think it is a priority to enable people at the end of their life to be able to make choices (where it’s clinically safe and possible to do so) about where they would like to live out their final days and what level of care and support they would like.

This is so that health and care professionals, family and friends can understand that person’s needs, arrange the right support to maintain a person’s dignity and quality of life and help them achieve their dying wishes.

Because of our utmost commitment to dignity at the end of life, we have been working in collaboration with a number of other organisations to create and promote a standardised Advanced Care Plan (ACP).

This plan is a useful tool, not only to record a person’s wishes when they die, but to start to have conversations with friends and family when a person comes to the end of their life.

Download the Advanced Care Plan from our website.

By having one easily-recognisable document owned by the individual, this can help everyone involved in their support to facilitate discussions about dying and ensuring that person’s wishes are recorded.

Other resources 

Posters and leaflets giving further information are available from our online toolkit. 

Swale/Medway leaflets:

End of Life Care (Patients)

End of Life Care (Carers)

High quality posters/ leaflets for purchase: A wider selection can be downloaded here: http://www.dyingmatters.org/page/dying-matters-posters

How to make a will: http://www.dyingmatters.org/page/writing-will

 Ideas around talking about death and dying: http://www.dyingmatters.org/page/TalkingAboutDeathDying

 Coping with sudden, violent or traumatic death: http://www.dyingmatters.org/page/dealing-sudden-or-violent-death

 How to find professional support following bereavement: http://www.dyingmatters.org/page/finding-professional-support

Planning for death: http://www.dyingmatters.org/page/planning-ahead