Release date: 7 May 2019
It’s a subject that most of us find difficult to talk about.
But are we ready for our own deaths, or the deaths of those we care about?
As organisations around the country prepare to mark Dying Matters Week next week (May 13 – 19) West Sussex County Council is urging residents across the county to strike up a conversation with their loved ones about what their wishes would be.
A nationwide poll found that although 70 per cent of people say they feel comfortable talking about death, only a third have actually discussed their wishes in relation to their own death.
Dying Matters has been created to prompt conversations about what we need to do to get ready, such as making a will, deciding to donate our organs, or discussing our future care wishes with a family member, as well as how we can be ready to help others.
Conversations are the first step – and can help us, and our communities, to be ready for death, dying and the bereavement process.
During Dying Matters Awareness Week, West Sussex libraries, including Crawley, Haywards Heath, Worthing and Chichester, will be sharing information and resources to prompt people to think about their plans and choices, and to stimulate conversations with their friends and family.
There will be books about living and dying well on display from a range of genres, including adults’ and children’s fiction, death and dying in society, practical manuals, memoir and self-help. There will also be a booklist to take away which has been developed with St Catherine’s Hospice library.
Information from our local West Sussex hospices will be available in the libraries, and hospice volunteers and West Sussex County Council public health staff will be available for conversations with visitors on select days. They will be at Chichester Library on Monday, Worthing Library on Tuesday, Crawley Library on Wednesday and Haywards Heath Library on Thursday.
Anna Raleigh, Director of Public Health at West Sussex County Council, said: “Talking about end of life care can be difficult, but having conversations about what matters to people as they approach the end of their life is the first step in ensuring people can make choices to enable a good death.
“Our aim is to build compassionate communities across the county, where people are able to have conversations about living and dying well and to support each other in emotional and practical ways in times of crisis and loss.”
For more information on Dying Matters Awareness Week 2019 visit www.dyingmatters.org/blog/dying-matters-2019-theme-are-we-ready