dying matters

The Way We Talk About Dying Matters

This year Hospice UK’s Dying Matters Dying Matters Awareness Week runs from 6th to the 12th of May. This year’s theme, ‘The way we talk about Dying Matters’, focuses on the language that we use, and the conversations we have, around death and dying – specifically between healthcare professionals and patients, their carers and their families.  

Facing the inevitability of death is never easy, especially when it comes sooner for some than for others. However, by proactively discussing our preferences and planning for our care, assets, and final wishes, we can alleviate much of the burden on our loved ones when the time comes. 

Here are five steps to improve your end-of-life experience, benefitting both yourself and your family.

Draft Your Will

Everyone aged 18 and over should have a legally valid Will in place, which should be periodically reviewed. Verbal promises or informal notes won’t suffice. Ensure your wishes are legally recognised by having a valid Will. Explore our resources on wills and probate for detailed guidance. 

Document Your Funeral Preferences

Express your specific wishes regarding your funeral arrangements and the handling of your remains. By outlining your preferences in advance, you ease the decision-making process for your family during a challenging time. Numerous online resources can help you articulate your wishes effectively. 

Plan Your Future Care

Considering and planning for potential future care needs is prudent. Long-term care expenses can be substantial, and it’s wise to seek advice regardless of your current health status. Various organisations offer practical guidance on social care, benefits, and support services for older adults. 

  • Which? Elderly Care has good practical advice about social care for older people 
  • Citizens Advice has information on benefits, such as Attendance Allowance, if you’re sick or disabled 
  • Age UK has information on all aspects of care and support – you can also call the helpline on 0800 055 6112 
  • Independent Age has advice and support on social care – you can also call the helpline on 0800 319 6789  
Consider Organ Donation

Registering as an organ donor is a straightforward process that can potentially save lives and you can register online. By expressing your desire to donate organs, you ensure that your wishes are known to your family, who will be approached to support organ donation upon your passing. 

Ensure Dignity in End-of-Life Decisions

Dying with dignity involves communicating your preferences to your loved ones regarding life-sustaining measures, preferred location for end-of-life care, and other critical decisions. Openly discussing these matters can prevent conflicts and ensure that your wishes are respected. 

For further assistance with Will drafting, Lasting Power of Attorney, or Estate Planning, please contact our knowledgeable Wills and Probate team

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