PEOPLE in Grays came to share their memories and talk about end of life at a Dying Matters Week stand hosted by St Luke’s Hospice and NHS Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group. People were keen to share their Bucket List and to identify where they would prefer to spend their last days of life. Top of the bucket list for most people was travelling and most people wanted to spend their last days of life in their own home or in a hospice.
Despite the lighter hearted questions, when asked how people have prepared for their end of life it was clear they hadn’t thought too much about it. Out of the 20 people we asked, more than half had not made a Will. Just six people had made a funeral plan. Over half had discussed their wishes with loved ones.
Marilyn DeBatista from St Luke’s Hospice said:
“It was heartening to work with our NHS colleagues in Thurrock and see people sharing their memories of loved ones and getting them thinking about how they would like to spend the last few days of their lives.
“People found the conversation a bit strange at first but very quickly began to realise the benefits of discussing their end of life and why it is so important to their families and everyone around them to do so. We turned what could have been a sad topic in to positive conversations, encouraging people to work towards living well and dying well. Most importantly we were able to give people the tools to share their wishes with family so they would know what to do when the moment comes.”
Dying Matters Week is supported by Die Well Essex and is an annual week of awareness raising about the issue of people having a choice about their end of life plans and how they communicate this to family and healthcare staff. For more information about this years’ campaign and other events going in the area visit: www.midessexccg.nhs.uk/livewell/diewell